Privatization of Adult Basic Education A Proven Failure

For Immediate Release:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

ST. JOHN’S, NL– Records released to the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) this morning show that the privatization of Adult Basic Education (ABE) has been a failed experiment.

“When ABE was privatized in 2013, NAPE joined students in denouncing the move saying that it would cost more and deliver less” said Earle. “We take no pleasure in seeing our predictions come true on this issue; everyone loses in this scenario except, of course, for the private institutions.”

Government documents released to NAPE today show that the cost of operating Adult Basic Education has risen significantly, while enrolment in the program has dropped since the program was privatized in 2013.

According to the released data, total tuition fee costs have increased by 31%, from $7.589M in 2013 to $9.918M in 2017. Total enrolment declined by 11% during that same period. The cost per student is up a whopping 47% from $3,342 in 2013 to $4,919 in 2017.

NAPE recently called on the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour to reinstate ABE at the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) following his comments regarding the lack of evidence used to justify the privatization of ABE by the former administration. NAPE has written the Minister requesting a meeting on this issue but a meeting has yet to be scheduled at the time of writing this release.

“These new figures only add to the justification for bringing ABE back into the public system,” said Earle. “We are the only province in the country that doesn’t offer ABE in the public education system. Cost per student is soaring, tuition fees are climbing, while enrolment is dropping. Privatization of ABE is clearly a failed experiment .”

“Cutting ABE from CNA has also had a negative impact on our public college system as a whole,” said Earle. “We have heard from countless faculty members that the ABE program served as a ‘feeder program’ for the College; students would start ABE and move into other College programs after graduating from ABE.”

“We must reinstate ABE at the College of the North Atlantic,” said Earle. “If this government is serious about evidence-based decision making then this is the only choice that makes sense.”

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For further information, please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501              (cell) 709.631.9737    (email)