BC Students Converge on Legislature to Demand Action on Adult Basic Education Tuition Fees

    Members of the Canadian Federation of Student meet with 61 MLAs

    VICTORIA, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Students from across BC are meeting
with 61 Members of the Legislative Assembly on Monday and Tuesday to discuss
the economic and social benefits of eliminating adult basic education fees, a
policy change that would help 30,000 students in BC. Students are demanding a
fully-funded elimination of all ABE fees, presently as much as $500 per
high-school level course, to begin in fall 2007.
    "When ABE was free, I was able to take the courses I needed to upgrade
and continue on to university level courses," said Dustin Grof, a former ABE
student now studying business at Selkirk College. "The case is clear that the
BC Government should immediately eliminate tuition fees for adult basic
    In Budget 2007, the BC government reported that 1 million British
Columbians (36% of adults) are "illiterate". The BC government collects
$4 million dollars in ABE tuition fee revenue, which is only 0.2% of the
average annual surplus over the past five years. Despite the fact that 50% of
ABE students work full-time, three-quarters of them live below the poverty
line according to the BC government's 2005 ABE Survey.
    "Students face significant financial hardship as a result of tuition fees
being charged for adult basic education courses," said Shamus Reid,
spokesperson for the Canadian Federation of Students. "Eliminating ABE fees
and fully funding programs at all BC colleges would address the most
significant barrier for British Columbians seeking to upgrade their education
to participate in BC's economy."
    Accessible adult basic education would have a positive impact on a number
of priority areas for the BC government, including post-secondary
participation rates for Aboriginal students, increasing skills training, and
reducing adult illiteracy.

For further information:

For further information: please contact: Shamus Reid, cell: (778)
322-2708; Summer McFadyen, cell: (604) 728-7744

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