By Ruty Skvirsky
Photos by Serkan Darende
On Wednesday February 1, students across Canada took to the streets to demand affordable and accessible post-secondary education for all. The Day of Action was an opportunity for Canadians to stand in solidarity together, and show the strength that we have in our numbers. The event is particularly important to students in Ontario, not only because we have two of the decision-making bodies that affect post-secondary education in our province (Provincial and Federal), but because we have the highest tuition fees in all of Canada; and they keep rising.
The Day of Action has been just one part of the Education Is A Right campaign. The months leading up to February 1 were used to raise awareness regarding the limited access to post secondary education in Ontario and the rest of the country.
The choice of whether or not to attend university or college is already a decision based on someone’s socio-economic situation. There are many people in the country that cannot attend post secondary school because they do not have the money to pay for it. The measures that we have in place currently (such as government loans like OSAP) are only band-aid solutions to the problem. Students who rely on government loans to attend school are only left with crippling debt after graduating. The irony is that many jobs require a university or college degree these days; and so the issue of access to education is a critical one. If students are not able to access the schools they want to attend, and the programs they want to study, they are unable to seek the opportunities they look for in life.
What the Education Is A Right campaign does is make sure that the government puts education in our country as a priority, and to make sure that ALL people are able to attend the university or college that they deserve.
As a third year university student, I know first hand what a majority of students in Canada face. I know that many students have to choose between paying for food and rent, and paying for school. This is why I have been so passionate about making education accessible to all, because I truly believe no one should be left without an education.
Ruty Skvirsky is a third year Film and History student at Carleton University. She holds the position of Arts and Social Sciences Councillor with the Carleton University Students Association (CUSA), and played a major organizing role in Ottawa’s Day of Action on February 1st.
For more information on the Education is a Right movement: