Today marks the day that hundreds of thousands of Ontario college students return to school. With November nearly finished, the holiday season already on everyone's mind, and five weeks of no studying brought to an abrupt end, getting back to the classroom is the last thing many college students want right now.
But with the Ontario college strike forcibly brought to an end, students and faculty alike had some serious decisions to make in less than 48 hours since the decision to end the strike was made.
Students who wish to opt out of the semester are being granted a full refund from the Ontario government. Meanwhile, students who are now going to have to deal with a very compressed semester that runs into the winter holidays will only be compensated with a measly $500 for their grievances and lost time.
And now, college students are triggered by the options offered by the Ontario government, with many students wishing that instead of forcibly ending the strike, Premier Kathleen Wynne would have cancelled the semester and refunded tuition to all students.
And on Monday, after the Ministry of Advanced Education announced its refund plan for students, Premier Kathleen Wynne, who's proposed legislation forcibly ended the strike, got some serious criticism from NDP leader Andrea Horwath for her handling of the college strike, as well as the weak refund offered to students.
"Students were forced to put their lives on hold for five weeks because the premier and her Liberal government sat on their hands and watched the faculty strike escalate," said the Ontario NDP leader. "$500 will simply not be enough for many students to recover from the chaos the Liberal government has created."
Meanwhile, NDP education critic Peggy Sattler criticized the Ontario government for not offering a full tuition refund to students who want to opt out of this semester but return to their studies in January. "The Wynne Liberals' announcement this morning suggests that only students who drop out will get a refund,” said Sattler. “It’s done nothing but create more chaos and confusion for these people who have already been through so much."
Various NDP members also blame the Wynne Liberals for creating the issues that caused the strike in the first place, stating that her government’s “chronic underfunding” of the college system majorly contributed to the strike.
Source: Global News