Budget fédéral de 2019 : Dix points à retenir pour les enseignantes et enseignants canadiens

Le 18 mars 2019, le gouvernement a présenté son budget, intitulé Investir dans la classe moyenne. La Fédération canadienne des enseignantes et des enseignants (FCE-CTF) a examiné celui-ci pour évaluer la mesure dans laquelle les allocations et les initiatives prévues répondent aux dossiers d’action politique prioritaires des plus de 273 000 enseignantes et enseignants des écoles publiques que la FCE-CTF représente aux quatre coins du Canada.

Afin de répondre aux besoins et aux priorités du personnel enseignant, des près de cinq millions d’élèves des écoles publiques, de la maternelle à la 12e année, et d’un système d’éducation publique de qualité, inclusive et financée par l’État, la FCE-CTF est déterminée à mener des actions pour améliorer les choses dans un grand nombre de dossiers prioritaires soutenus par trois piliers :

  • renforcer les droits des travailleuses et travailleurs, et promouvoir le renouvellement syndical en tant que fondement de la démocratie;
  • veiller à ce que l’éducation publique dispose de ressources et d’un financement adéquats;
  • demeurer inébranlables dans nos efforts pour faire progresser la justice sociale.

Le budget fédéral de 2019 contient un mélange de promesses de programmes importantes ainsi que des mesures modestes, mais progressistes, qui répondent à bon nombre des dossiers d’action politique prioritaires de la FCE-CTF. Dans cet article, nous mettons en évidence les mesures budgétaires qui concernent particulièrement les piliers prioritaires dont il est question plus haut. Vous trouverez ci-dessous dix choses que vous devez savoir au sujet du budget fédéral de 2019 par rapport aux priorités de 273 000 enseignantes et enseignants qui ne ménagent pas leurs efforts pour les enfants du Canada et l’avenir de notre pays.

Les droits des travailleuses et travailleurs, et le renouvellement syndical en tant que fondement de la démocratie

  1. Nouvelles mesures proposées pour soutenir les travailleuses et travailleurs qui désirent suivre une formation axée sur les compétences. Ces mesures comprennent l’Allocation canadienne pour la formation, le crédit canadien pour la formation et la prestation de soutien à la formation de l’assurance-emploi. L’Allocation canadienne pour la formation a pour but d’aider les travailleuses et travailleurs canadiens à payer les frais de formation; chaque année, « les travailleurs admissibles âgés de 25 ans à 64 ans accumuleraient un solde de crédit à un taux de 250 $ par année, jusqu’à un plafond total à vie de 5 000 $ » qu’ils pourraient utiliser pour payer les frais de formation (p. 44). Pour les besoins de ce nouveau crédit, le budget de 2019 propose d’investir « 710 millions de dollars sur cinq ans, à compter de 2019-2020, et 265 millions par année par la suite » (p. 45). La prestation de soutien à la formation de l’assurance-emploi (qui devrait être lancée à la fin de 2020) « serait offerte dans le cadre du programme d’assurance-emploi et verserait jusqu’à quatre semaines de soutien du revenu aux quatre ans » (p. 45). Ce soutien du revenu serait « versé à 55 % de la rémunération hebdomadaire moyenne d’une personne » et aurait pour but d’aider les travailleuses et travailleurs à payer leurs dépenses « pendant qu’ils suivent une formation et qu’ils ne touchent pas leur chèque de paie régulier » (p. 45). Cette prestation coûtera « 1,04 milliard de dollars sur cinq ans, à compter de 2019-2020, et 321,5 millions par année par la suite » (p. 46). Ces mesures sont prometteuses, mais, comme le dit Katherine Scott, chercheuse principale au CCPA, [traduction libre] « les employeurs brillent par leur absence dans ce budget et, même s’ils investissent chroniquement peu dans la formation en cours d’emploi, ils seront les plus grands bénéficiaires du fait qu’ils obtiendront des travailleuses et travailleurs mieux formés ».
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  3. Mesures législatives visant à inscrire de façon proactive les cotisants et cotisantes au Régime de pensions du Canada (RPC). En vertu de ces mesures, « les cotisants qui seront âgés de 70 ans ou plus en 2020, mais qui n’ont pas encore demandé à recevoir leurs prestations de retraite » (p. 78) seraient inscrits de façon proactive au RPC. Par conséquent, environ 40 000 personnes âgées de 70 ans ou plus qui ne sont pas encore inscrites au RPC commenceraient à recevoir une pension de retraite mensuelle moyenne de 302 $. Ces mesures coûteraient 9,6 millions de dollars qui « proviendraient du Compte du Régime de pensions du Canada » (p. 79). Il s’agit d’une mesure qui permettra de veiller à ce que tous les cotisants et cotisantes au RPC reçoivent les prestations auxquelles ils sont admissibles.
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  5. Prolongation du congé parental. Le budget de 2019 propose « d’étendre la période visée par le congé parental, passant de 6 mois à 12 mois dans le cas des étudiants et des boursiers postdoctoraux qui reçoivent un financement d’un conseil subventionnaire » en fournissant « un total de 37,4 millions de dollars sur cinq ans, à compter de 2019-2020, et 8,6 millions par année par la suite, aux conseils subventionnaires fédéraux » (p. 55). Le budget indique que cet investissement « sera utile aux jeunes chercheurs, surtout aux femmes » et 2 « aidera en outre les parents à mieux concilier leurs obligations professionnelles et leurs responsabilités familiales, comme la garde d’enfants » (p. 55); cependant, la question d’un système national de services de garde d’enfants abordables pour les travailleuses et travailleurs canadiens reste largement sans réponse.

Des ressources adéquates pour l’éducation publique

  1. Une gamme d’initiatives ou de services pertinents. Bien que l’éducation relève de la compétence des provinces et des territoires1 , le gouvernement fédéral conserve un important pouvoir de dépenser dans des programmes et initiatives qui soutiennent l’éducation publique. Ce budget contient une gamme de services ou initiatives qui touchent des questions comme la formation, l’égalité des sexes, l’éducation postsecondaire, l’éducation autochtone, les programmes alimentaires et l’enseignement des sciences, de la technologie, de l’ingénierie et des mathématiques (STIM), et qui contribuent à répondre aux besoins d’un système d’éducation publique solide, financé par l’État, et à réduire les écarts socioéconomiques et les inégalités. Le budget de 2019 propose de réduire le taux d’intérêt flottant — applicable aux prêts d’études canadiens et aux prêts canadiens aux apprentis — au taux préférentiel, de son taux actuel du taux préférentiel majoré de 2,5 points de pourcentage, à compter de 2019-2020. Le budget de 2019 propose également de réduire le taux fixe au taux préférentiel majoré de 2,0 points de pourcentage, de son taux actuel du taux préférentiel majoré de 5,0 points de pourcentage, à compter de 2019-2020. Un grand nombre d’étudiantes et étudiants, de membres du corps enseignant et de familles doivent composer avec des prêts d’études élevés. Cette mesure, en plus d’apporter un soulagement aux emprunteurs, pourrait avoir un effet incitatif auprès des étudiantes et étudiants. L’éducation publique est confrontée à une crise au chapitre du recrutement et du maintien en poste d’enseignantes et enseignants qualifiés, une crise qui va en s’aggravant, et les mesures qui procurent un soulagement aux membres du personnel enseignant et un soutien aux étudiantes et étudiantes qui suivent un programme de formation initiale à l’enseignement en vue d’obtenir leur qualification sont les bienvenues.

Justice sociale

  1. Réduction de la pauvreté. Le budget contient de nombreuses mesures qui concernent la stratégie de réduction de la pauvreté du gouvernement, par exemple améliorer l’exemption sur le revenu du Supplément de revenu garanti, inscrire de façon proactive au Régime de pensions du Canada les aînées et aînés qui ont 70 ans et plus en 2020, mettre en œuvre le principe de Jordan et fournir les fonds nécessaires à cette mise en œuvre, et financer des projets et des programmes destinés aux aînées et aînés, aux Autochtones du Canada et aux personnes réfugiées. Le budget contient également de nouvelles mesures concernant le logement, dont l’Incitatif pour acheteurs d’une première habitation, dans le cadre duquel la Société canadienne d’hypothèques et de logement fournira jusqu’à 1,25 milliard de dollars sur trois ans, à compter de 2019-2020, aux acheteurs d’une habitation admissibles en partageant le coût d’une hypothèque. Ces mesures, quoique bienvenues, sont assez modestes et répondent principalement aux besoins d’accession à la propriété de la classe moyenne. Elles passent à côté de l’occasion d’investir dans le logement sécuritaire et abordable et de répondre ainsi aux besoins des personnes qui vivent dans la pauvreté. Il y a aussi une absence flagrante de nouveaux investissements dans l’apprentissage et la garde des jeunes enfants.
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  3. Égalité des sexes. Le budget fédéral de 2018, surnommé le « budget de l’égalité des sexes », avait présenté un nouveau Cadre des résultats relatifs aux genres, et augmenté le financement et la portée de l’analyse comparative entre les sexes plus (ACS+) pour évaluer les questions de recoupement en rapport avec l’élaboration des politiques et des programmes. Le budget fédéral de 2019 prévoit un autre « financement historique » pour faire progresser l’égalité des sexes. Il fournit ainsi 160 millions de dollars au Programme de promotion de la femme entre 2019 et 2024 (p. 203). Bien que l’augmentation du financement destiné à l’égalité des sexes constitue un pas dans la bonne direction, la Fondation canadienne des femmes (article en anglais seulement) signale que le budget ne contient pas de mesures nationales concernant la loi sur l’équité salariale et le financement de la garde d’enfants, deux piliers d’une société qui valorise l’égalité des sexes.
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  5. Égalité des sexes, éducation et perfectionnement des compétences. Le Cadre des résultats relatifs aux genres englobe six domaines clés, dont le premier concerne l’éducation et le perfectionnement des compétences. L’objectif intitulé « Chances égales et cheminements diversifiés en matière d’éducation et de perfectionnement des compétences » englobe d’autres objectifs comme l’augmentation du nombre de femmes dans les domaines d’études non traditionnels comme les sciences, la technologie, l’ingénierie et les 1 Loi constitutionnelle de 1867 du Canada, article 93 3 mathématiques (STIM) (p. 256-258). Parmi les mesures récentes figure CodeCan, un programme de 50 millions de dollars qui a pour but d’« enseigner le codage et [de] donner des compétences numériques aux élèves et enseignants de la maternelle à la 12e année ». Ce programme s’adresse plus particulièrement aux filles et aux élèves sous-représentés dans les domaines des STIM (p. 260). Introduire le codage dans les écoles par l’intermédiaire du personnel enseignant et des élèves permettrait de rejoindre des jeunes qui autrement n’auraient peut-être pas la possibilité d’acquérir ces compétences.
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  7. Santé mentale. Dans son budget de 2017, le gouvernement fédéral s’était engagé à verser 11 milliards de dollars sur dix ans pour des initiatives touchant la santé mentale et les soins à domicile. Contrairement à cette stratégie plus groupée, dans son budget de 2019, il répartit plutôt les fonds destinés à la santé mentale entre de multiples priorités, mais surtout les initiatives ciblant les personnes les plus vulnérables du Canada, comme les personnes inuites, les Autochtones, les personnes allosexuelles, les personnes de race noire, les personnes aînées et les anciennes et anciens combattants. Le financement couvre, entre autres, l’accès à des services de santé mentale pour les jeunes de race noire (p. 205) et la construction de centres de guérison pour la population inuite et les autres résidentes et résidents du Nunavut (p. 121). La nouveauté en 2019 est la stratégie assortie de 25 millions de dollars pour créer un service pancanadien de prévention du suicide qui inclura l’offre de soutien en cas de crise de santé mentale. Ce service permettra l’accès dans les deux langues officielles, 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7, à des intervenantes et intervenants formés pour gérer ces crises.
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  9. Changements climatiques. Le budget de 2019 contient de multiples mesures qui font de l’action contre les changements climatiques une priorité. Il propose notamment d’affecter 350 millions de dollars à la Collaboration sur l’action communautaire en matière de lutte contre les changements climatiques. Ce financement couvrira entre autres les initiatives de la Fédération canadienne des municipalités et de Low Carbon Cities Canada qui créeront un réseau pancanadien pour appuyer les actions des communautés locales visant à réduire les gaz à effet de serre. Le budget de 2019 s’attaque aussi aux changements climatiques en proposant plusieurs investissements afin d’assurer un soutien continu aux régions de l’Arctique et du Nord canadiens et d’aider les communautés des Premières Nations à mieux se préparer pour faire face aux situations d’urgence et aux menaces découlant des changements climatiques. En outre, le gouvernement propose de présenter un projet de loi qui permettra l’affectation directe des produits de la redevance réglementaire sur les combustibles fossiles aux secteurs susceptibles d’être particulièrement touchés par la tarification de la pollution par le carbone.
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  11. Éducation autochtone. Le budget fédéral de 2019 comprend d’importantes mesures pour appuyer l’éducation autochtone et renforcer les soutiens et les services aux Autochtones. Le chef national de l’Assemblée des Premières Nations (APN), Perry Bellegarde, note que le budget annonce des investissements importants et soutenus pour favoriser la réussite des enfants des Premières Nations et appuyer les gouvernements de ces nations. Selon l’APN, 24 mesures ciblent particulièrement les Autochtones, pour un total d’environ 4,7 milliards de dollars répartis entre un éventail d’initiatives qui couvrent les langues, l’éducation, y compris l’éducation postsecondaire, la participation à l’économie, la gestion des urgences, la mise en œuvre des appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation, l’eau, la santé et le bien-être. L’Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) accueille aussi avec satisfaction les investissements annoncés dans le budget de 2019 qui ciblent les Inuits et, plus précisément, la prévention du suicide, l’éducation postsecondaire et les services de santé et les services sociaux pour les enfants inuits. Cependant, l’ITK indique aussi que, malgré la proposition d’un transfert ponctuel de 2,2 milliards de dollars au titre des investissements dans l’infrastructure des communautés par l’intermédiaire du Fonds fédéral de la taxe sur l’essence, l’organisation est très déçue du fait que les Inuites et Inuits continuent d’être exclus des investissements dans les infrastructures et des décisions concernant leurs territoires2 .

Le budget de 2019 envoie des messages prometteurs et propose de nouvelles mesures progressistes, signe que le gouvernement prend au sérieux son obligation de répondre aux besoins et aux priorités des Canadiennes et des Canadiens. Par contre, il a raté sa chance d’augmenter ses investissements et d’adopter des stratégies plus audacieuses dans les dossiers de la lutte contre la pauvreté, de l’équité entre les sexes, de la maladie mentale, de la garde des jeunes enfants et des droits des travailleuses et travailleurs. La FCE-CTF poursuivra son action politique pour répondre aux besoins et aux priorités de l’éducation publique financée par l’État, des enseignantes et enseignants, et des élèves de l’ensemble du pays.

2 https://www.itk.ca/inuit-tapiriit-kanatami-reacts-to-inuit-specific-investments-in-2019-budget/ (en anglais seulement).

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Canadian teachers’ ten takeaways from the 2019 Federal Budget

On March 18, 2019, the government tabled its 2019 budget, titled “Investing in the Middle Class.” The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF-FCE) looked to the 2019 budget to assess how allocations and initiatives respond to the advocacy priorities of the over 273,000 public school teachers the CTF-FCE represents across Canada.

To support and advance the needs and priorities of teachers, nearly 5 million students in K-12 public schools, and quality inclusive publicly funded public education overall, the CTF-FCE is committed to advocating for and contributing to improvements related to an extensive set of priorities categorized in three pillars:

• strengthening labour rights and advancing union renewal as a foundation for democracy;
• ensuring adequate funding and resourcing of public education;
• being unwavering in our efforts to advance social justice.

The 2019 federal budget offers a mix of significant future program promises as well as modest, but progressive measures to support and advance many of the advocacy priorities of the CTF-FCE. In this article, we highlight key budgetary measures of significance to the advocacy pillars described above. Here are 10 things you need to know about the 2019 federal budget vis-à-vis the priorities of 273,000 teachers working hard for Canadian kids and our country’s future :

Labour Rights and Union Renewal as a foundation for democracy:

  1. Proposed new measures to support workers pursue skills training. This includes the “Canada Training Benefit”, the “Canada Training Credit, and the “EI Training Support Benefit”. The Canada Training Credit aims to assist Canadian workers with training fees; each year, “eligible workers between the ages of 25 and 64 would accumulate a credit balance of $250 per year, up to a lifetime limit of $5,000” that can be used to pay for training (p. 38). Budget 2019 states that this new credit will cost “$710 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $265 million per year ongoing” (p. 39). The EI Training Support Benefit (projected to start in late 2020) “would be available through the EI program and would provide up to four weeks of income support, every four years” (p. 39). This would be “paid at 55 per cent of a person’s average weekly earnings”, and is aimed to help workers cover their expenses “while on training and without their regular paycheque” (p. 39). This benefit will cost “$1.04 billion over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $321.5 million per year ongoing” (p. 40). These are promising measures, however, as CCPA Senior Researcher Katherine Scott asserts, “Employers are missing in action in this plan, and despite making chronically low investments in on-the-job training, they’ll be the biggest beneficiaries by getting better trained workers.”
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  3. Legislation to proactively enroll Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributors. In this plan, “contributors who are age 70 or older in 2020 but have not yet applied to receive their retirement benefit” (p. 66) would be proactively enrolled in the CPP. This would result in approximately 40,000 people who are 70 or older and not enrolled in CPP starting to receive a monthly retirement pension of $302 a month on average. This will cost $9.6 million and is to be “sourced from the Canada Pension Plan Account” (p. 66). This measure is a step towards ensuring that all CPP contributors will receive the benefits for which they are eligible.
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  5. Proposed expanded parental leave. Budget 2019 introduces a proposal “to expand parental leave coverage from six months to 12 months for students and postdoctoral fellows who receive granting council funding” through providing “a total of $37.4 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $8.6 million per year ongoing, to the federal granting councils” (p. 47). The Budget states that this funding will “help young researchers, especially women” and “help parents better balance work obligations with 2 family responsibilities, such as child care” (p. 47); however, the issue of nationwide affordable childcare options for Canadian workers remains largely unaddressed.

Adequate resourcing for public education:

  1. A range of relevant services or initiatives. While education is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction1 , the federal government retains significant spending power and authority on programs and initiatives that support public education. This budget contains a range of services or initiatives that address training, gender equality, post-secondary education, Indigenous education, food programs, and STEM, for example, to help support the needs of a robust publicly funded public education system, as well as address socio-economic gaps and inequities. The 2019 budget proposes lowering the floating interest rate for Canada Student Loans and Apprentice Loans to prime, from its current rate of prime plus 2.5 percentage points, starting in 2019–20. Budget 2019 also proposes to lower the fixed interest rate to prime plus 2.0 percentage points, from its current rate of prime plus 5.0 percentage points, starting in 2019–20. Many students, teachers, and families grapple with high student loan debt and this measure will provide both relief to loan borrowers and potential incentive to students. Public education is confronting an increasing crisis in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, and measures that provide relief to teachers and support for pre-service student teachers, as they obtain their qualifications, are welcomed.

Social Justice:

  1. Poverty reduction. There are multiple measures in the budget that address the government’s poverty reduction plan, including enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement earnings exemption, automatically enrolling Canada Pension Plan contributors who are 70 or older in 2020, implementation and funding for Jordan’s Principle, and financing for projects and programs for Seniors, Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and refugees. There are also new housing measures, including the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, whereby Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will provide up to $1.25 billion over three years (starting in 2019–20) to eligible home buyers by sharing in the cost of a mortgage. These measures, while welcomed, are fairly modest and predominantly address homeownership needs for the middle class, while missing the opportunity to invest in and build safe and affordable housing for persons living in poverty. There is also a noticeable absence of new investments in both early learning and childcare.
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  3. Gender Equality. The 2018 Federal Budget, dubbed the “Gender Equality Budget” introduced a new Gender Results Framework, and expanded the funding and scope of the Gender-based Analysis Plus [GBA+] tool for assessing intersectional concerns when developing policy and program initiatives. The 2019 Federal Budget commits a further “historic investment” in gender equality spending, adding $160 million between 2019-2024 to the Women’s Program (p. 170). While the advances in funding for gender equality are a step in the right direction, the Canadian Women’s Foundation points out that national strategies on pay equity legislation and funding for child care are not addressed in the budget, both of which are keystones to a gender equitable society.
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  5. Gender, Education, and Skills Development. There are 6 key areas in the Gender Results Framework, the first of which is education and skills development. With the goal of increasing “equal opportunities and diversified paths in education and skills development,” objectives include more women in non-traditional fields of study, such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] (pp. 214-216). Recent 1 in Canada’s Constitution Act, section 93 3 actions include CanCode, a $50-million-dollar program “to teach coding and digital skills to students and teachers from kindergarten to Grade 12,” specifically aimed at girls and students who are underrepresented in STEM fields (p. 218). Introducing coding into schools, through teachers and students, has the potential to reach youth who otherwise might not be exposed to obtaining these skills.
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  7. Mental Health. The 2017 Federal Budget committed $11 billion over a ten-year period for mental health and home care initiatives. Unlike that more unified strategy, the 2019 Budget parses out mental health funding over multiple priorities, most notably vulnerable peoples in Canada, such as Inuit, Indigenous, LGBTQ+, Black, elderly, and veteran communities. The funding includes access to mental health services for Black youth (p. 171), and funding to build healing centres for Inuit and other Nunavut residents (p. 101). What is new in the 2019 Budget is a $25 million strategy for a pan-Canadian suicide prevention service, which will include mental health crisis supports. This pan-Canadian service will be offered in both official languages, with 24/7 access to trained responders for acute mental health crises.
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  9. Climate Change There are multiple measures in Budget 2019 that address climate change action as a priority. Budget 2019 proposes to allocate $350 million for Collaboration on Community Climate Action. As part of this investment, the Budget indicates that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Low Carbon Cities Canada Initiatives will create a network across Canada that will support local community actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Budget 2019 also addresses climate change by proposing several investments of ongoing support for Canada’s Artic and Northern regions and to help First Nations communities prepare for emergencies and better adapt to the threats of climate change. In addition, the Government proposes to introduce legislation that would allow direct proceeds from the regulatory charge on fossil fuels to be directed towards sectors that may be particularly affected by the carbon pollution price.
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  11. Indigenous Education The 2019 Federal budget includes important measures to support and advance Indigenous education, supports, and services. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde notes that the 2019 federal budget includes key sustained investments to support success for First Nations children and First Nations governments. According to the AFN, this includes 24 measures for Indigenous peoples, totaling approximately $4.7 billion aimed at a range of initiatives, including languages, post-secondary education, education, economic participation, emergency management, implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, water, health and well-being. The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) also welcomes Inuit-specific investments in Budget 2019 for suicide prevention, post-secondary education, and health and social services for Inuit children. However, ITK also states that while the budget proposes a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion in infrastructure investments for communities through the federal Gas Tax Fund, they are “deeply disappointed with the continued exclusion of Inuit from infrastructure investment and decision-making opportunities in our homelands.” 2

There are hopeful signals and progressive new measures in the 2019 budget, indicating that the government is taking seriously its obligations to advance and support the needs and priorities of Canadians. There are also, however, missed opportunities to expand and intensify investments and strategies for bold action on poverty reduction, gender equity, mental health, child care, and labour rights. The CTF-FCE will continue our advocacy efforts to support and protect the needs and priorities of publicly funded public education, teachers, and students across Canada.

2 https://www.itk.ca/inuit-tapiriit-kanatami-reacts-to-inuit-specific-investments-in-2019-budget/

CANADA LEARNING BOND

What is the Canada Learning Bond?

The Canada Learning Bond is an initial $500 offered by the Government of Canada to help you start saving now for your child’s education after high school.  Your child could also get $100 every year until age 15. In total, a child could receive up to $2,000 in an RESP.

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The money in an RESP can be used to pay for various expenses related to full-time or part-time studies in:

  • apprenticeship programs;
  • CEGEPs;
  • colleges;
  • trade schools; or universities.

Is my child eligible for the Canada Learning Bond?

Your child is eligible to receive the Canada Learning Bond if he or she:

  • was born on or after January 1, 2004;
  • is a resident of Canada;
  • has a valid Social Insurance Number;
  • is from a low-income family; and
  • is named as a beneficiary in an RESP.

Children in care, for whom a Children’s Special Allowance is payable, automatically qualify for the Canada Learning Bond.

What is a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)?

An RESP is an education savings account that helps you, your family or your friends save early for a child’s education after high school.

The Canada Learning Bond is money directly deposited by the Government of Canada into an RESP for children of low-income families. You do not need to add any money in the RESP for a child to receive the Canada Learning Bond.

Why should I save for my child’s education?

Saving just a dollar a day can make a difference.

With a RESP, you can help turn your child’s dreams into reality. In addition to the Canada Learning Bond, if you add money to the RESP for your child’s education after high school, he or she could receive the Canada Education Savings Grant.

What is the Canada Education Savings Grant?

The Canada Education Savings Grant is money deposited by the Government of Canada into an RESP for your child.  The amount could be up to $500 per year, depending on how much you contribute to an RESP for your child. If your family income is low, it could also provide an   additional amount of up to $100 each year in the RESP. A child could receive a total of up to $7,200 in Canada Education Savings Grants in an RESP for their studies after high school.

Will the Canada Learning Bond money affect other Government of Canada benefits I receive?

The Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant will not affect other Government of Canada benefits.

How do I open an RESP and get the Canada Learning Bond and Canada Education Savings Grant for a child?

You can open an RESP at a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, or through a certified financial planner or a group plan dealer. These institutions, planners and dealers are known as RESP providers.

Step 1 – Get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) for your child. It’s free. Call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232), click canada.ca/social-insurance-number for more information or visit a Service Canada Centre near you.

Step 2 – Find an RESP provider that offers the Canada Learning Bond.  Some RESP providers may ask you to pay for their services, and put conditions on RESPs, so it is important to ask the right questions and get all the facts to ensure you find the RESP provider that is right for you.

You may wish to ask:

  • if they offer the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings  Grant;
  • what types of RESPs they offer (family, individual or group) and the advantages and risks of each;
  • what investment products they offer and the advantages and risks of each; and
  • what their administration fees and penalties are.

For additional questions to help you find the RESP provider that best suits your needs, visit the RESP page on Canada.ca.

Step 3 – Open an RESP. You can ask the RESP provider to help you complete the application form entitled:  “APPLICATION: Basic and Additional Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and Canada Learning Bond (CLB)”.

Where can I get help or more information?

Gouvernement of Canada

1 800 O-Canada (1‑800‑622‑6232)

TTY: 1-800-926-9105

Visit a Service Canada Office near you.

By mail:

Canada Education Savings Program

Employment and Social Development Canada

140 Promenade du Portage, Portage IV, Mailstop:

Bag 4 Gatineau QC K1A 0J9

Canada Revenue Agency

for questions about income tax

1-800-959-8281

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

for information to help you better manage your money

1-866-461-3222

BON D’ÉTUDES CANADIEN

Qu’est-ce que le Bon d’études canadien?

Le Bon d’études canadien est une somme  initiale de 500 $ que le gouvernement du Canada vous offre pour vous aider à mettre de l’argent de côté dès maintenant pour les  études de votre enfant après le secondaire. Votre enfant pourrait également recevoir 100 $ par année jusqu’à l’âge de 15 ans.

DDN_ESW Holidays_FR.JPG

Au total, votre enfant pourrait recevoir  un montant maximal de 2 000 $ dans un REEE.

L’argent du REEE peut être utilisé pour  payer diverses dépenses liées aux études à temps plein ou à temps partiel dans :

  • un programme d’apprentissage;
  • un cégep;
  • un collège;
  • une école de métiers;
  • une université.

Mon enfant peut-il recevoir le Bon d’études canadien?

Votre enfant a droit au Bon d’études  canadien :

  • s’il est né le 1er janvier 2004 ou après cette date;
  • s’il est un résident du Canada;
  • s’il a un numéro d’assurance sociale valide;
  • s’il est issu d’une famille à faible revenu;
  • s’il est désigné comme bénéficiaire d’un REEE.

Les enfants pris en charge qui sont admissibles à une allocation  spéciale pour enfants sont  automatiquement admissibles au Bon d’études canadien.

Qu’est-ce qu’un régime enregistré d’épargne-études?

Un régime enregistré d’épargne‑études  (REEE) est un compte d’épargne pour les études qui aide les parents, la famille ou les amis à mettre de l’argent de côté pour les études d’un enfant après le secondaire.

Le Bon d’études canadien est déposé directement par le gouvernement du Canada dans un REEE pour un enfant issu d’une famille à faible revenu. Vous n’avez pas à déposer de l’argent dans le REEE pour que l’enfant reçoive le Bon d’études canadien.

Pourquoi devrais-je mettre de l’argent de côté pour les études de mon enfant?

Chaque dollar compte!

En ouvrant un REEE, vous pouvez aider votre enfant à réaliser ses rêves. Si vous ajoutez de l’argent au REEE pour payer les études de votre enfant après le secondaire, celui‑ci pourrait recevoir la Subvention  canadienne pour l’épargne‑études en plus du Bon d’études canadien.

Qu’est-ce que la Subvention canadienne  pour l’épargne-études?

La Subvention canadienne pour l’épargne‑études, c’est de l’argent que le gouvernement du Canada verse dans le REEE de votre enfant. Le montant versé peut totaliser jusqu’à 500 $ par année et il varie selon l’argent que vous versez dans  le REEE. Si le revenu de la famille est faible, le gouvernement pourrait verser un montant supplémentaire d’au plus 100 $ par année  dans le REEE. Un enfant pourrait recevoir un total de 7 200 $ en Subvention canadienne pour l’épargne‑études dans un REEE pour payer ses études après  le secondaire.

Si je reçois le Bon d’études  canadien, est-ce que je pourrai continuer à recevoir les autres prestations que je reçois du gouvernement du Canada?

Le Bon d’études canadien et la Subvention canadienne pour l’épargne‑études n’ont aucun effet sur les autres prestations du gouvernement du Canada.

Que dois-je faire pour ouvrir un REEE et recevoir le Bon d’études canadien et la Subvention canadienne pour l’épargne-études pour un enfant?

Pour ouvrir un REEE, vous devez passer par une institution financière, comme une banque ou une caisse populaire, ou consulter un courtier en régime collectif ou un planificateur financier agréé. Ces institutions, courtiers et planificateurs sont appelés « fournisseurs de REEE ».

Étape 1 – Demandez un numéro  d’assurance sociale (NAS) pour votre enfant. C’est gratuit.

Pour plus d’information, composez le 1 800 O‑Canada (1‑800‑622‑6232),  consultez le canada.ca/numero‑assurance‑sociale ou visitez un Centre Service Canada près de chez vous.

Étape 2 – Trouvez un fournisseur de REEE qui offre le Bon d’études canadien. Certains fournisseurs exigent des frais pour leurs services et imposent des conditions pour les REEE. C’est pourquoi vous devez poser les bonnes questions et bien vous renseigner afin de trouver le fournisseur de REEE qui répond le mieux à vos besoins.

Vérifiez :

  • s’il offre le Bon d’études canadien et la Subvention canadienne pour l’épargne-études;
  • quels types de REEE il offre (familial, individuel ou collectif) et les avantages et risques de chacun;
  • quels produits de placement il offre et les avantages et risques de chacun;
  • quels sont les frais administratifs et les pénalités.

Visitez la page des REEE sur canada.ca  pour obtenir une liste de questions à poser à votre fournisseur de REEE afin de trouver  celui qui répond le mieux à vos besoins.

Étape 3 – Ouvrez un REEE. Vous pouvez  demander au fournisseur de REEE de vous  aider à remplir le formulaire de demande intitulé « Demande : Subvention canadienne pour l’épargne études (SCEE) et Bon d’études canadien (BEC) ».

Où puis-je obtenir de l’aide ou plus d’information?

Gouvernement du Canada

1 800 O-Canada (1‑800‑622‑6232)

ATS : 1-800-926-9105

Visitez un Centre Service Canada  près de chez vous

Par la poste :

Programme canadien  pour Emploi et Développement social Canada

140, promenade du Portage,  Portage IV, Arrêt postal :

sac 4  Gatineau (Québec) K1A 0J

Agence du revenu du Canada

pour toute question concernant l’impôt  sur le revenu et les prestations

1-800-959-7383

Agence de la consommation en matière  financière du Canada

pour tout renseignement relatif à la meilleure gestion de son argent

1-866-461-3222

The Copyright Resource for Teachers : CopyrightDecisionTool.ca

There is a great on-line resource to help teachers determine whether fair dealing permits them to use short excerpts from copyright-protected materials for the students in their classrooms.

CopyrightDecisionTool.ca helps teachers decide, with a few clicks, whether the fair-dealing provision in the Copyright Act permits copying of short excerpts from print materials, artistic works, or audiovisual materials for students without having to get copyright permission.

So, the next time you wonder, “Can I use this in the classroom? Can I copy it?” the answer is at your fingertips! It takes 30 seconds on CopyrightDecisionTool.ca to have your copyright questions answered. By clicking through this user-friendly resource, teachers will know how to apply fair dealing and whether their use of the copyright-protected materials is “fair.”

www.CopyrightDecisionTool.ca

CopyrightDecisionTool.ca informs teachers about their rights and obligations when they use copyright-protected works of others. It will ensure that they better understand the law and the application of the Fair Dealing Guidelines. There are other important copyright resources all teachers should become familiar with:

All of these resources can be printed for teachers’ easy reference.

CopyrightDecisionTool.ca is a helpful resource to keep teachers on the right side of the law. It is important for teachers to know their rights under Canada’s copyright law, and it is very important for them to know their limits. When in doubt about whether a use is fair dealing, use the Copyright Decision Tool.

Visit (and bookmark!): www.CopyrightDecisionTool.ca

 

Looking ahead to 2018 — nationally and professionally

By H. Mark Ramsankar

I became the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) President in July 2017. These first few months have been exciting, fast paced, trying yet fulfilling. So much has happened in such a short period of time. What is of interest is the speed at which time has travelled. Six months seems like a long time yet here we are; closing out another year and heading into a new one. So, what have I learned in this new role and what might be ahead as we travel into 2018?

In 2017, the well-being of our schools was the theme of CTF’s pre-AGM Canadian Forum on Public Education, and youth mental health was the focus of our 2015 federal election campaign. These remain our focal priorities as we continue to advocate for safe and caring schools across Canada. A key issue of concern for Canadian teachers is the mental health and well-being of our students and teachers. Given the incredible diversity of Canadian classrooms and schools; providing the necessary supports and services for students identified with special academic needs and facing mental health challenges are absolutely critical. Sadly, resources and supports continue to lag in this age of austerity.

Our national collective bargaining conference in June 2017 found our Member organizations indicating and reporting an increase in the number of incidences concerning violence in Canadian classrooms. Education is a dynamic sector in all our provinces and territories. Outside influences on Canadian classrooms are very real and generally beyond a teacher’s influence or control.

The critical lack of supports and resources for children with serious behavioral issues has led to a rise in violent outbursts placing students and teachers at risk. Our schools need stronger funding bases and resources for special education, a comprehensive approach to supporting children’s mental health as well as health and safety protection and training for all school personnel. Teacher survey reports released by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario speak clearly to this issue.

The change in student demographics, class size and structure, the rise in violent incidents in our classrooms, the growing demands for recording and reporting student progress, 24-7 access to teachers along with the unprecedented growth of corporate intrusion/interests are straining our teaching and learning environments across Canada.

Member organizations also said the number of episodes reported does not come close to the reality of violence teachers face regularly at school. This may be due to a stigma to reporting acts of violence in the classroom. The result is that teachers can be reluctant to report because they perceive it may reflect poorly on their worth as an educator. We need to continue advocating for resources and the support necessary so teachers can teach the way they want to teach to continue meeting the needs of their students and to reduce the day-to-day stress of the classroom.

CTF is justifiably concerned with Bill S-206, a private member’s bill which is currently at second reading in the Senate, effectively calling for the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada. If passed, this wrong-headed approach will impact students’ safety and the teacher’s ability to work directly with students. Section 43 is the only protection teachers have against prosecution when they are carrying out their duties in the complicated, unpredictable climate of today’s schools.

In April 2017, Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette spoke to the CTF Board of Directors about Bill S-206, the bill she introduced in the Senate which has since been taken over by Senator Murray Sinclair. Board members took the opportunity to inform the Senator of the negative impact the repeal could have on the safety and security of all students and personnel in schools. CTF is fundamentally opposed to any form of corporal punishment but recognizes the need for physical contact with students and, at times, the need for physical restraint to ensure their safety and the safety of others. We believe and hope she heard our message. Senator Hervieux-Payette promised to reexamine the bill with the Justice department in order to address the concerns of teachers. 2018 has CTF continuing to closely monitor Bill S-206. Debate was adjourned on December 7, 2017.

Copyright in Schools is currently another focus of our advocacy work which will continue in 2018. The current legislation is viewed as an international example to model yet concerns by the publishing industry have once again brought it forward as an issue. As the federal government is currently reviewing the copyright legislation, content creators and the industry sector have been busy lobbying the federal government for changes. CTF as part of the Education coalition has been lobbying against the proposed changes but for maintaining the fair use/fair dealing provisions established by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012. If creators succeed in a revised federal legislation in their favour, we can all expect to see increased copyright fees that will siphon education funds away from students and schools and into the pockets of publishers. This will seriously harm teachers’ ability to access and use resource materials in Canadian classrooms.

I invite all CTF Members organizations and Canadian teachers to pressure their federal representatives throughout the coming months to maintain the fair use/fair dealing provisions in our education system. It’s important to have our voices heard at every opportunity.

The power of close to a quarter of a million voices and the collective voice of our profession are what drive our advocacy efforts. You as teacher leaders are the drivers of CTF through your professional organization. Through this work, we can continue to strengthen our world class public education system.

As classroom teachers, we must tell the story of today’s Canadian classrooms in 2018. What are the realities we face and how does lack of support combined with inclusion and the creation of inclusive classrooms impact learning environments and Canadian students’ opportunities to learn? Teachers understand the essence of learning is founded in the relationships between teachers and students. Support for nurturing and developing these meaningful relationships and maintaining safe and healthy learning environments is the work ahead in 2018.

(H. Mark Ramsankar is the President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation)

Canada @ 150 – Eight big ideas to strengthen public education

By Bernie Froese-Germain

The genesis of public education in Canada and the birth of the Canadian federation have some important commonalities. They are both approximately the same age – public education has its origins in the latter half of the 19th century. More importantly, they are both works in progress, continually evolving to meet new needs and demands, one supporting and strengthening the other.

On the role that public education plays in a democratic society, philosopher and essayist John Ralston Saul eloquently stated that:

Any weakening of universal public education can only be a weakening of the long-standing essential role universal public education plays in making us a civilized democracy.
www.publiceducationnetworksociety.com/the-charter.html

In a similar vein, American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey observed a century ago that:

It is no accident that all democracies have put a high estimate upon education; that schooling has been their first care and enduring charge. Only through education can equality of opportunity be anything more than a phrase. Accidental inequalities of birth, wealth, and learning are always tending to restrict the opportunities of some as compared with those of others. Only free and continued education can counteract those forces which are always at work to restore, in however changed a form, feudal oligarchy. Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Dewey

The historic milestone of Canada’s 150th anniversary is an appropriate time to reflect on the future of public education: what kind of public education system do we need to support the vision of an inclusive, equitable, sustainable, prosperous Canada?

No one could argue that public education doesn’t play a central role in creating our future society – unfortunately, the typical discourse around educational innovation and change too often equates with standardized, market-driven reforms which undermine equity. Teachers’ organizations attempt to provide an important counter-narrative to this flawed mindset.

So, with that in mind, here are some “big” ideas (in no particular order) to strengthen public education in Canada.

  1. Education for reconciliation – In the wake of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report and its Calls to Action, CTF firmly believes education is vitally important to the healing and reconciliation process and is committed to working together with Indigenous organizations and our other educational partners toward this end.
  2. The teacher voice – Classroom teachers, the experts on teaching and learning, are best positioned to know what students require to be successful in the broadest sense of the term. As such, it is vitally important to involve and incorporate the teaching profession’s views on educational change. Indeed, Jelmer Evers and René Kneyber, editors of Flip the System: Changing Education From the Ground Up, published last year by Education International (EI), argue that teachers can and should take the lead on education reform. https://www.teachers.ab.ca/Publications/ATA%20Magazine/Volume-96-2015-16/Number-1/Pages/Book-review.aspx
  3. Support for collaborative professionalism – The importance of fostering a system culture of collaborative professionalism to improve teaching and learning is one of the main recommendations of a recent study on the state of professional learning in Canada. According to Andy Hargreaves, “professional learning and development (PLD) is most effective when it takes place within a culture of collaborative professionalism where teachers work and plan together, take shared responsibility for all students’ learning in each other’s classes and schools, and undertake inquiry in teams to solve problems in their schools”.
    https://learningforward.org/who-we-are/announcements/press-releases/2016/12/05/findings-from-a-study-of-educators-professional-learning-in-canada-released-today
  4. Social and economic conditions matter – Socio-economic factors (such as child poverty and mental illness) can have an impact on student learning and educational outcomes. Improving the broader social and economic conditions of children and their families will ultimately benefit learning and the overall quality of public education.
  5. Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) – We need to deepen our awareness and understanding of global education reform and how these changes are impacting our schools and education systems. Features of GERM include school choice (charter schools, voucher programs, etc.), increased competition between schools, test-based accountability, and the narrowing of curriculum. To take one example, the growth of international benchmark testing such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) PISA is influencing educational policy and practice in ways that can be detrimental to the goals of public education.
  6. Achieving excellence through equity – The Alberta Teachers’ Association’s (ATA’s) blueprint for educational development in Alberta, A Great School for All (PDF – 1.3 MB), takes a systematic holistic approach to educational change with equity as its foundation. The blueprint contains 12 dimensions of change which “are interconnected and recognize that schools are complex living communities that exist within an ecology bounded by culture, community, socio-economic realities, political environments and global trends and pressures.”
  7. Increase support for diversity – Given the incredible diversity of classrooms and schools – and the richness and strength that lies therein – providing the necessary supports and services for students with special needs including students with mental health problems is absolutely critical.
  8. Stem the growing tide of privatization in/of public education – Over the past two years, CTF has been actively involved in the Global Response campaign, an international effort – coordinated by EI and endorsed at the EI World Congress in Ottawa in 2015 – opposed to the privatization and commercialization of public education. The campaign has two complementary pillars:
    • Advocate for governments to do what they’re supposed to do – act in the interest of the public good with adequate funding, resources and policy to ensure quality inclusive public education.
    • Endeavour to interrupt and stop “edu-businesses” such as Pearson and Bridge International Academies from profiting at the expense of access for all to free quality publicly funded public education.

    As part of the Global Response campaign, the recently launched We The Educators initiative, a series of animated short videos supported by a detailed literature review, is intended to catalyze new conversations about the relationship between educational technology and the privatization, standardization, datafication, and (de)personalization of education.

While not exhaustive by any means, this list does touch on some core issues for the teaching profession in its efforts to ensure the provision of quality public education for all – for the next 150 years and beyond.

*This article was first published in the June 2017 issue of PerspectivesCTF’s Web magazine.

Canadian Teachers’ Federation applauds repeal of anti-labour legislation

June 15, 2017

Ottawa – The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is celebrating the adoption of Bill C-4, the legislation that repeals the previous Conservative government’s Bill C‑377 introduced in 2012 and Bill C‑525 adopted in 2014.

“We applaud the Liberal government for living up to its electoral promise by repealing these anti-labour and undemocratic laws,” says CTF President Heather Smith. “Teacher organizations were among the many labour groups targeted by Bill C-377 which had been pushed quickly through the House of Commons with little debate and no consultation with labour. These measures triggered the CTF “Hear my voice” advocacy campaign with the goal of strengthening the teacher voice in labour rights,” Smith adds.

The Federation also rallied to support the Canadian Labour Congress campaign and joined the chorus of opposition expressed by police associations, the federal privacy commissioner, the Canadian Bar Association and seven provinces who called C‑377 unconstitutional and argued it would cost millions for the federal government to enforce.

“This is wonderful news for democracy and human rights,” concludes Smith.

Founded in 1920, CTF is a national alliance of provincial and territorial Member organizations that represent over 232,000 teachers across Canada. CTF is also an affiliate of the 32-million member Education International. @CanTeachersFed

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Media contact:

Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314

We The Educators — A new conversation about the future of public education

Education systems around the world are now witness to a variety of educational changes and improvements, numerous social and economic disruptions, and the onset of rapid technological advances that were unimaginable in the past. Within this tsunami of change, innovative teaching and learning practices that employ emerging technologies are sweeping into schools and classrooms with the broader goal of transforming student learning.

While technologies present education systems with both significant opportunities and challenges, some of the most profound developments are related to standardisation, personalisation, privatisation, and the datafication of learning.

To this end, Education International (EI), the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) identified a need to explore the interdisciplinary research underpinning technology-driven datafication and its effects on teaching and learning around the world.

We the Educators - Educational Technology and the Personalisation, Standardisation, Privatisation and Datafication of EducationThis literature review (PDF – 601 KB) attempts to provide a balanced view of the interdisciplinary concepts under investigation in order to inform an analysis of the converging fields of educational technology and datafication. It is part of a larger project, entitled “We the Educators” (www.wetheeducators.com), which brings the concepts explored in this research to life through video and animation in multiple languages.

It is hoped that this project will stimulate a rich public dialogue—and greater professional scrutiny—around the relationship between the datafication of education systems and the (de)personalization, privatization and standardization of student learning. We invite colleagues and advocates for quality public education worldwide to draw on this research and to use the videos to continue the conversations.

This project is the result of a global collaborative effort of many talented people including Graham Brown-Martin and teams from EI (Angelo Gavrielatos, Nikola Wachter and Mar Candela), the ATA (Dr Philip McRae, Dr Lindsay Yakimyshyn and Dr J-C Couture) and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (Cassandra Hallett, Bernie Froese-Germain). The collective attention, analysis, support and imagination provided by all of these individuals has brought to life a project with the intention to inform and help to (re)shape the future of teaching and learning.

All of the partners in this project will continue to research and advocate for the conditions of professional practice required to create teaching and learning environments that advance the goal of strong publicly-funded public education systems: to educate all children and youth well.


Please follow, like and connect to these platforms and help us spread this conversation.

Website: https://wetheeducators.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeTheEducators
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeTheEducators
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/WeTheEducators/
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/WeTheEducators
YouTube: http://bit.ly/WTEyoutube

When crisis for many means opportunity for some: Private profit and the education of Syrian refugees

By Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary, Education International

The war in Syria has been on the front pages of newspapers for six years now. We have witnessed the plight of those who flee, the long winters in refugee camp tents. But little is said about the fate of refugee children when it comes to their education. Do they have schools to go to? Who teaches them?facebook_Arabic

A new study answers these questions. “Investing in the Crisis: Private Participation in the Education of Syrian Refugees”, conducted by Francine Menashy and Zeena Zakharia from the University of Massachusetts, examines the situation of 900,000 refugee Syrian children who are out of school in their host countries, with enrolment rates ranging from 70 percent in Jordan to 40 percent in Lebanon and 39 percent in Turkey.

Clearly, there is a deficit in access to education for refugee children – and private providers are actively engaging in that space. Naomi Klein, who coined the term ‘disaster capitalism’, outlined how the private sector is quick to respond whenever a crisis or natural disaster strikes. However, in the case of education in such emergencies, little has been known about the scope and aims of private engagement.

This report highlights a surge in private actor involvement in the Middle East since 2015, with 144 non-state actors currently engaged in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This includes 46 businesses and 15 private foundations, the majority of which have their headquarters in the global north, and 61 percent of which do not have education as their primary mandate.

What other drivers apart from education pull private investment into the region?

In their study, Menashy and Zakharia explore the nature of private sector involvement in the education of Syrian refugees. The study raises questions about the profit motive driving these actors which may be at odds with what is best for refugee children, including their right to quality education. Furthermore, part of the new trend of ‘philanthrocapitalism’, which is increasingly influencing education policies and programmes, is the involvement of private companies in the education of Syrian refugees which may contribute to undermining democratic governance and accountability in education that was once inextricably linked to social dialogue and legislative processes.

While the intervention of private actors may be unavoidable in certain crisis contexts, the study unveils clear areas of concern. Private actors on the ground seem to be insufficiently coordinated, leading to imbalances and duplication of services – a situation which is worsened through inadequate communication between the private actors and the state.

The authors also highlight that private stakeholders often overemphasise the role and presence of technology in education. This emphasis on ICT is questionable given the scarcity of resources, with schools often lacking the most basic infrastructure and tools. Do children need tablets when they have no benches to sit on, no toilets to go to at school? In this regard, governments are well advised to seek and consider the expert voice of teachers and their unions – a vital part of a humanitarian response in education – to ensure that interventions are contextualised and appropriate for the reality in the classroom.

Lastly, the engagement of private actors in Syrian refugee education is translating into political influence, where numerous businesses are becoming key decision-makers in refugee education policymaking. This influence can and will promote an increase in the private provision of education and non-formal education environments. This is deeply problematic due to the overall lack of accountability in terms of educational quality and equity, as previous studies commissioned by Education International have shown.

This report lays bare the undeniable obligation of all governments to ensure that the rights of all children, including refugee children, are met. This includes the provision of free inclusive and equitable quality public education. Beyond this, governments are also required to regulate the involvement of private actors within clear legal frameworks addressing the commercialisation of education in fragile settings. We must challenge the exploitation of those in need. Seeking to profit from those in need cannot be labelled as anything but unethical.