Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Kim to a highschool diploma four decades

Kim Campbell who once served as the 19th prime minister of
Canada stated “Canada is the homeland of
equality, justice and tolerance”. This is further supported in the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms in Section 15, “subsection (1) does not preclude any
law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions
of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged
because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or
mental or physical disability.” So when it comes to the future of making
post-secondary education affordable or even free, the supreme court of Canada
could very potentially state that students possess a Charter right to affordable
or free post-secondary education. When the financial opportunity
to admissions of post-secondary education becomes restricted or inaccessible to
individuals, then that post-secondary education turns into a privilege placed
on socioeconomic positions, which goes against Charter Rights section 15.1.2. So
the Supreme Court of Canada could state that individuals in Canada have a
Charter right to affordable or free post-secondary education in order to
promote equity, accessibility and accountability.

Possessing a Charter right to affordable
or free post secondary education aids in the encouragement and promotion of
equity. In order to apply to jobs, one or more post-secondary degree is
required and are considered equal to a highschool diploma four decades ago (Bélanger,1989).
Many careers now expect post-secondary degrees that in the past, did not
require so (Fenesi; Sana, 2015).  Thus, the number of age groups
graduating from post-secondary institutions today has increased even more than
the number of age groups graduating from high school institutions almost fifty years
ago (Bélanger,1989). The age groups who graduated from high school in the past
were never required to pay for their education. Numerous governments in Canada
state that 70% of jobs expect a diploma from post-secondary institutions (Bélanger,1989)
and more than half of Canada’s students who graduated from post-secondary institutions
are inclined to go back to the university to acquire a second degree in order
to increase the chance of finding a sufficient place of employment (Fenesi; Sana, 2015). So with such a huge number of people who are required to go to
post-secondary schools in order to secure a job, many are left unable to
because of the heavy costs that come with attaining a diploma. This then
becomes unfair and unjust because now, the education system created another
system that disregarded and paved a road of failure for the underprivileged.
And so, it is very apparent that currently, post secondary education fall
within the scope of levels that Canadians are required to possess as a key
aspect of their basic education, and that they are a fundamental component of
educations as a basic human right that should be granted to the youth without a
fee by the nation as a whole.

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Secondly,
in order to encourage accessibility the supreme court of
Canada could very potentially state that student possess a Charter right to affordable
and free post secondary education.  Each individual should be able to have
the financial chance to seek post-secondary education as well as the right to
utilize it upon graduating without being heavy in debt. The gap between the
wealthy and the poor has expanded in many peer countries. Between 1995 to the
late 2000s, 10 peer countries, Canada included, have undergone an increasing
income disparity (Fenesi; Sana, 2015). And so, making sure that the populations of
students who are unable to pay the heavy fees are not blocked from a basic
right (the right to education), is vital. Education shouldn’t be restricted to
the upper middle or upper class. If it were to be restricted the upper middle
to the upper class, this would cause the gap between the wealthy and poor to
double due to the fact that the poor wouldn’t be able to climb up the ladder
without a post-secondary degree that every decent job now requires. What makes
the situation worse is that most university or college students are now
responsible for paying out of their own pockets for the costs of their
education and parents are no longer in the picture because the individual is
now an adult. Tuition fees have increased a huge amount since the 1990s (Branch,
2015). On average, the current expenses for a post-secondary degree is about
$25,000 in tuition alone and some professional programs are priced as more than
$100,000 which is an amount that barely any student would be able to afford (Branch,
2015).  In Ontario, costs double every 15 years, and going through debt
has been the only option for an increasingly unaffordable university or college
degree. With just these numbers for tuition alone, many students would be put
off from applying to universities because of the debt they would incur which
then pushes them to unemployment.

          Thirdly, accountability can push the Supreme Court of Canada to
hold the individuals in Canada have a Charger right to affordable or free post-secondary
education. Canada has pledged itself in a legally
binding international treaty to putting an end to university tuition fees.
Canada signed and in 1976 authorized (thus granting it the force of law in Canada)
the UN’s “International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” (Heymann; McNeill; Raub, 2015). This treaty signifies that the parties that are a part
of the contract are entrusting themselves to “the progressive introduction of
free education” at a level that is post-secondary which is in compliance with
their vow that “Higher education shall be made accessible to all” (Heymann; McNeill; Raub, 2015). This treaty also demands that, in consideration of
social, cultural, and economical rights which includes education, that the signatories
do not exercise “discrimanation of any kinds as to….. National or social
origin” (Heymann; McNeill;
Raub, 2015). In the 42 years since Canada has
authorized this agreement, not only has free universities or colleges not been
introduced in Canada as the agreement calls for, but the expenses
post-secondary institutions charge has increased greatly. In addition, Canadian
universities brought in discriminative conditions based on national origin in
which they charge international student even higher than Canadian students.
This shows the lack of accountability in Canada where the inability to make
commitments and responsibility for conduct creates a lack of trust from the
public. For example, Canada’s defiance to abide with its legal responsibilities
under the Kyoto Accord on greenhouse gas emissions (Yiannaka; Furtan; Gray, 2001), has
distinctly shown that unfortunately, there is no legal system to push “rouge
states” to observe international laws that they have ratified. Public
post-secondary institutions must be accountable to the general public and not
to external parties like governing boards or private businesses that are mostly
accountable to their shareholders. Such approach aid only to strengthen the
rhetoric of reorganizing and rewarding institutions that stray from
accessibility that is public more towards market accountability, without
auditing the cause of this rhetoric, and the undemocratic effect of its
influence. Hence, accountability is vital because it creates a sense of
responsibility and trusts and allows everyone to be involved in the educational
system and is not just controlled by a set number of people with personal
interests.

 

In conclusion, “Education is a human right with immense power
to transform. On its foundation rests the cornerstones of freedom, democracy
and sustainable human development” (V, 2013). Post-secondary
institutions have undergone a number of significant alterations that,
debatably, have caused these institutions to be decreasingly accessible, accountable
and equitable; in short, less democratic. 

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