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> Monday, November 30th, 2009 > Opinion > No light at the end of tunnel
No light at the end of tunnel
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Denis Vidmar
Published: Monday, November 30th, 2009
Students all around the world are standing up to the new age ideology that is spreading across the western world, where we, the students, believe education is in question.
We are being taken advantage of. Our rights are being manipulated and our education costs are on the rise every semester that we enroll in school.
It starts with the additional $20 they add on to the financial fee, or the bus pass because of the supposed rise in gas prices.
In reality none of this is significant because the only fact that is real is that we the students are the future of this, and every other country in this world we live in.
In Canada we feel we are blessed because of the easy access to financial assistance when in reality, we are thought to live day-by-day, cheque-to-cheque, without even considering for a moment the debt that is waiting at the end of this education path we embark on.
Being the President of Student Action Movement at Fanshawe, I am in touch with numerous students across Canada, which all cry out the same message. I have gone to school, I have finished, and now I am in debt or broke or on the verge of bankruptcy.
Here is Amandaís story, which I am sure, some of you will be able to relate to:
I finished university in April of 2003. When I finished I had my loans with four different institutions, totaling about $30,000. Over the years I have paid off two by negotiating with collections (about $16,000). The remaining two was forwarded onto HRDC, which is now under some other government heading. When that change occurred I lost track of my remaining two loans.
For the past three years (excluding this current year) my tax returns went directly to my loans. Other than that, no money has been paid to these loans, because a) I had no money due to paying the other loans, and b) no one could tell me where to make any payments when I could make them sporadically.
I am now being sued for $16,000 (including interest over seven years) by the Attorney General of Canada. I'm very upset. I had no warning! Some unpleasant man showed up at my door (I still live with my parents because Iím so poor) and served me! I have no money, and just received termination of employment as the Ontario Government is shutting down the local driver and vehicle license office I currently work at for $12.75/hr!
Our stories are all the same. Some of us are blessed and have parents who are paying for our education, but in reality, the good majority is struggling, or will struggle like Amanda, once they have completed their degrees.
We are thought to believe that by striving to get that great education, that great job will come which will result in us to be happy and free. The reality however is similar to Amandaís, if not worse.
This similar issue is happening half way around the world as well, currently in Croatia, where students have blocked all universities from Zagreb (the capital), to Split, Rijeka, and Pula. They are demanding free education for all.
They are raising an issue with the government, stating that, sure we can pay all the costs, but where are the jobs to support these monthly payments that start once that degree is achieved?
We have a similar problem here in Canada, and yet we are too busy to do anything about it. Our busy lives and expected lifestyles are forcing us to be active as much as we can take physically and mentally, which gets us to do nothing.
According to The Vancouver Sun, students of British Columbia were denied financial aid for their fall term because the provincial government of British Columbia slashed $16-million from the student-aid budget without any previous announcement.
Also in the same issue was the elimination of the Premierís Excellence Award, which distributes scholarships to top high school students.
Education is in question my fellow students.
My question to you is what are we going to do about it?