NDP questions silencing of ABE instructors, rationale for cuts

NDP Advanced Education and Skills critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) wants to know if the government is stopping Adult Basic Education instructors from speaking out. He also wonders if the minister is aware of one basic reason for seemingly low graduation rates from College of the North Atlantic’s ABE programs.

“A number of Adult Basic Education Instructors at College of the North Atlantic have been told by supervisors to not take part in a Concerned Faculty Action Committee,” Kirby said in the House of Assembly today. “They’ve been told that they are better off not speaking out about privatization of ABE.

“Can the Minister tell us if this is based on a directive from her office? If not, why are we hearing from people across the province who are afraid to speak out about your budget cuts?”

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The NDP critic says he has observed a consistent pattern of people who want to talk about the impact of cuts on their workplaces, but who are fearful of being publicly identified. He relayed one of the questions he has heard to the House.

“ABE instructors are asking if government’s program completion figures reflect that many ABE students at CNA transfer their credits back to high school in order to receive a high school diploma rather than an ABE diploma,” Kirby said.

“Will the Minister finally clear the air and release the full details of the ABE enrollment and graduation analysis that was carried to justify government’s decision?”

Kirby notes, too, that “Publicly available student loan data show that private college student debts in Newfoundland and Labrador are far higher than those incurred by public college students,” and questions the rationale behind forcing students to borrow thousands more dollars to complete their education.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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