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Backgrounder(s) & FactSheet(s):Factsheet

 


  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2007AE0057-001095

Sept. 7, 2007

Ministry of Advanced Education

Ministry of Education

 

ALL ADULT BASIC EDUCATION TO BE TUITION-FREE IN B.C.

 


VANCOUVER – The Province is investing $17.5 million under the second phase of ReadNow BC to make adult basic education tuition-free for all students and increase financial aid for adult learners, Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell and Education Minister Shirley Bond announced today.

 

“We are helping people upgrade their education so they can take advantage of our growing economy and enjoy rewarding careers,” said Coell. “We’re acting on the Campus 2020 report by offering free tuition for adult basic education, whether students have graduated from high school or not. We’re also going beyond that by helping more adult learners pay for books, transportation and child care.”

 

The change will be brought about in three stages. Effective immediately, all students can take courses free of charge through the Province’s virtual school, LearnNowBC, at www.LearnNowBC.ca. Starting January 2008, all students will also have access to tuition-free adult basic education courses at 18 public post-secondary institutions around B.C. The third stage, starting September 2008, will allow all students to take free adult basic education courses through school districts.

 

“Free online courses available anywhere in the province through LearnNowBC are already giving adult learners more options than ever before,” said Bond, who is responsible for literacy. “This expansion of adult basic education will help more learners improve their literacy skills and prepare for better futures.”

 

The Ministry of Advanced Education will add $6.9 million to its annual $57-million investment in adult basic education. The Ministry of Education will add $3.1 million to its annual $34.5 million investment, plus another $1.5 million for LearnNow BC, fulfilling the Province’s throne speech commitment of an Education Guarantee. About 28,000 learners enrol in adult basic education courses at public post-secondary institutions alone each year.

 

The Ministry of Advanced Education is also providing more than $17 million over the next three years – an added $6 million – for grants that help adult basic education students pay for books, supplies, transportation and child care while they study at a public post-secondary institution. Last year, about 2,900 adult basic education students received this funding, as well as more than 4,200 ESL and adult special education students.

 

ReadNow BC is a comprehensive literacy action plan to help provide adults, Aboriginal people, K-12 students and preschoolers with the skills they need to succeed. The plan’s second phase also includes the launch of the ReadNow BC website at www.readnowbc.ca, and a database of literacy programs and services available throughout B.C., community by community. The database was developed by Literacy BC with $200,000 from the Ministry of Education.

 

            ReadNow BC was introduced in January of this year with an investment of $27 million. Today’s $17.5-million announcement, on the eve of International Literacy Day, brings that investment to nearly $44.5 million. Since 2001, the Province has announced over $123.5 million in new literacy programs and services in support of its goal of making British Columbia the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction in North America.

 

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 1 factsheet(s) attached.

 

 

Media

contact:

Corinna Filion

Communications Manager

Ministry of Advanced Education

250 952-6400

250 812-7977 (cell)

Lara Perzoff

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963

250 920-9040 (cell)

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.