Last week I wrote a post on two inane ideas uttered by young Tim Hudak, the hapless leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party. He proposed tying post-secondary funding to rates of employment upon graduation, along with the idea that only those who achieve a certain mark shuld be elegible for student financial assistance.
Two letters in today's Star help to put his 'ideas' into the perspective they deserve:
Re: Hudak cracks whip on students, Feb. 13
Once again, Tim Hudak is turning into the greatest boon for the Ontario Liberals. His policy paper on post-secondary education will benefit absolutely no one and will negatively affect students who are in most need of financial aid.
I was once an undergraduate student and needed OSAP to fund my education. I was also working two jobs to provide for other expenses during the school year. In the process, my academic performance wasn’t the greatest, but the learning experience was unparalleled. I eventually earned two degrees from my alma mater, worked for a few years and went back to school to get a graduate degree on scholarship.
If Hudak had his way, people like me would never get a degree. His proposal is also redundant as there are already scholarships, grants, bursaries and loan-forgiveness tied to various prerequisites including academic performance.
During the 2011 provincial elections, the Hudak PCs managed to fumble a double digit lead over the Liberals. It doesn’t look like they have learnt their lesson.
Aditya Iyer, Ottawa
Let’s grade Tim Hudak’s efforts with this plan: as a retired college professor and dean, I’m aware, as are thousands of students, of the continuing efforts to link college and university programs.
A three-year degree? Reminds me of an old joke where a conservative emperor standing on his balcony proclaims to this constituents, “Everyone in my kingdom shall be educated. To that end I give each of you a degree.”
What is missing here is a little item called relevant curriculum.
I’m certainly interested in Mr. Hudak’s thinking about how his plan addresses the TBSB survey about student stress and anxiety about the future. But let’s find the kernel of wisdom in this proposal: what about grading the quality of political ideas to the money we pay our politicians? A six-month trial on that one could well erase the provincial debt.
Don Graves, Burlington
My mother always taught me to think before I spoke. Apparently Tim Hudak did not have the benefit of such maternal counsel.