Ending ‘victory lap’ hurts dreams of post secondary education

To the Expositor:

As Trustee of a school board I am somewhat angered/disappointed but not surprised at the current provincial government not allowing Grade 12 students, unless they finance themselves, what is termed as a “victory lap.” Basically, for those who are unfamiliar with the term victory lap, it refers to students who have recently graduated from Grade 12 or just missed graduating and want to re-do Grade 12 or bring up their marks to increase their chances of attending the university of their choice in Canada.

The end result of preventing students from doing the victory lap is that less students will attain their dream, if that dream was to attend a choice university. Our Canadian universities in turn will see less of our kids because they haven’t met the mark or cannot afford the victory lap to accomplish raising them.

Did you ever wonder why this victory lap may have been cancelled by a government that says on the other side of their mouth how they support students?

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is collaborating with the Canadian Bureau for International Education to bring Brazilian university students to Canada. Through the CBIE/AUCC program and other agreements between Canadian institutions and the Brazilian government, an estimated 12,000 Science without Borders scholars are expected to come to Canada between now and 2016.

Last week the Harper government arranged and announced a deal with the country of Brazil. Canada and its universities, including Ontario, will accept 10,000 of their students in our universities. Let’s put this another way. Ten thousand of our Canadian/Ontarian kids will be displaced by students from another country.

Let’s make no mistake about it, Canada will make money from the Brazilians, but what is our priority? What about our kids?

The government now must make room for these 10,000 before arranging for our own kids or setting numbers that can go to these higher institutions of learning. This should send up warning flags for Canadians/Ontarians with alarm.

Here are our local educators working with our kids in preparation to attend the university of their choice at graduation time. A university in the country they grew up in and their parents/guardians help nurture will only be within reach if not needed for a foreign student’s seat.

It will now be difficult, no, not possible for our kids to unseat a student from another country whose seat in university is sold to them by our government regardless of how well or poorly the scholastic records are of the non Canadians. Their spot in their own country?

Local politicians should be outraged and making sure that while Harper is out roaming around the country making life better for other countries, even if it means pushing our kids aside at their demise. But his reputation and that of his chosen buddies is act now, ask forgiveness later. For my part our local politicians in power should be in the media writing letters now. They aren’t and now I am placing them on notice. Federally Carol Hughes, NDP and Mike Mantha provincially.

Be aware moms/dads/grandpas and grandmas, this is a serious assault on your life that you paved for generations to come.

For those and there will be those who translate my remarks as prejudice, get a life! I too want kids from foreign countries to have access to an education, but not at the expense of our kids at home.

Larry Killens, trustee

Rainbow District School Board

South Baymouth