Education


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In this section

YCL-LJC policy on student issues
YCL-LJC Central Committee statements on the student movement
Student Organizations
Campaigns we support

YCL-LJC materials on student issues

YCL-LJC policy on student issues

DROP FEES, RAISE WAGES
UNITE AND FIGHT!

YCL Toronto, Oct. 09

Maybe you are a student in high school worried about the cost of college or a trade. Perhaps you’re a young single parent anxious about rising student debt and the future for your child. You could be a second-year university student, angered by your loans disappearing into ridiculously over-priced books, a recent grad getting collection agency calls, or a young worker blocked from education by low wages or layoffs.

We live in a very rich country. But tens of millions of people are struggling against an economic crisis we didn’t make, while our right of access to post-secondary education is stolen.

Fewer and fewer people can afford post-secondary education -- and unless we rise up in a bold, united campaign we'll get a dangerously worsening deal. A major think tank recently said universities should raise fees by 25%, under the pretext of the recession. Some University Presidents (like at UofT) openly call for fee deregulation, mass privatization and reduced access, reflecting big business’ view, provincial governments, and the Harper Conservatives: US-style education, for rich kids only.

Despite the economic crisis, most corporations are posting huge profits. Meanwhile, prices keep rising -- tuition 4x faster than inflation. Wages don't keep up. Not one penny of bail-out money has been called back, but government wages a dirty campaign demanding industrial and unionized workers surrender hard-fought pension and wage gains.

The growing gap between the rich and the poor exposes a class system, rotten with racism and sexism, where tuition fees are yet another user fee on a service that should be free.

MYTHS & FACTS

"Students can afford to pay more."

Fewer youth are going to school because of rising fees. A Sept 09 report described "pools" of working class high school students who can't go to college. Money is the main barrier to access.

"We can't afford to reduce fees."

It is a question of priorities. The imperialist and war in Afghanistan, rejected by Canadians, has a 20 bil. price tag. Cut military spending in half! Troops out now! Reverse the steady reduction of corporate taxes and raise business tax (students in BC will soon pay more in tuition than corporations pay in tax). And nationalizing Canada's energy industry could eliminate all fees and pay for accessible public child care.

"Education is a privilege"

This is a snobs argument. The UN Declaration of Human Rights says education is a right and should be free where countries can afford it (and it is in capitalist Norway and socialist Cuba). That right cannot be denied us.

"Let the market decide"

That means putting the decision into the hands of big business. The economic crisis shows the market has failed. Corporations need an educated workforce but they don't want to pay for it. Nor do they need everyone to be educated: for example all this talk of "cheapening" or "inflation" of degrees is the capitalist class talking about their agenda. Education is not a commodity.

"Campaigning won't do anything"
Students in Quebec blocked an aggressive attack on access in 2005 through mass action united with labour. The history of tuition fee reductions (like in Newfoundland today) is a tale of protests and petitions. Struggle is the only way forward and it needs *you* to be strong, broad, diverse, and militant enough to win.


DROP FEES – RAISE WAGES

The YCL supports the CFS reduce or Drop-Fees campaigns. Today, over a million are unemployed. Youth unemployment is a record 20 per cent. Few can get Employment Insurance. Comprehensive policies based on people’s needs not corporate greed are urgent: raising minimum wage (we say to $16!), EI access (eliminating all barriers, covering everyone for the full duration of unemployment at 90% of former earnings) and jobs (ie. a green industrial plan & plant closure legislation with teeth, massive affordable housing and infrastructure construction). Access to education from cradle to grave is a universal fight, a fight for equity and anti-racist campaigners, for the women's movement, and for our class, the working class. We can't limit the battleground to campus.

Across the country students are fighting with allies to reduce tuition. These are serious and genuine efforts. It needs you to grow, to make our sentiment for lower fees resonate with government. We can't just lobby. There must be an expanding and broadening fight back and tactics moving the most people forward – assemblies, more demos, sit ins, or walk outs.

LIFT THE CAP NOW!

Racist policies against Aboriginal students hurt the entire movement. Education is a human right – and for First Nations a treaty right. But in ‘96 the Federal government imposed a 2% cap on all basic core services funding increases breaking the Treaties. Rising numbers of Aboriginal youth seek degrees. 50%+ of the aboriginal population is under 25. There are long waiting lists for First Nations youth to attend post-secondary; non-status and Metis people don’t get any funding, while facing the same racism. We must lift the cap (and take emergency action to improve Aboriginal peoples social & economic conditions; full recognition of sovereignty and self-determination for aboriginal nations.)

ELIMINATE FEES: THE YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAGUE’S CAMPAIGN

To really win advances in favour of students and all the working people, we need to drop fees altogether, create a system of grants, and abolish loans and all student debt. This international fight has seen encouraging developments in Germany, South Africa, and across Latin America just this year.

We must also expel corporate profiteers and the military from our campuses -- directing research towards benefit of peace and people’s needs, not profit.

And we need to guarantee the right of students to organize without interference -- contrary to the escalating dangerous attack on student unions, the Canadian Federation of Students, the Public Interest Research Groups, and Palestinian solidarity groups orchestrated by the Harper Conservatives, in collusion with top various university administrators, and the police, sometimes bringing in unwarranted and heavy-handed disciplinary and legal charges against activists.)

Lobbying and November’s mass demo can and should grow into a bold, broad, united mass struggle brining the pressure of all youth, parents, trade unionists against the government, and powerful big business. Through united, militant struggle, bigger demands can be won.

ABOUT THE YCL

As capitalism enters another dangerous time of crisis the demand for a better alternative that puts people and the environment before profits is echoing around the world. Now is the time to join the fight back!

The Young Communist League – la Ligue de la Jeunesse Communiste is Canada’s oldest organization of revolutionary youth. Formed in 1923, we struggled against the Great Depression, sent brigades to the Spanish civil war, resisted the cold war, and rallied for peace and nuclear disarmament. We fought racism, sexism, homophobia. We helped build today’s student movement.

Today, the YCL-LJC is made up of school and community clubs across the country, including Quebec, campaigning for immediate anti-war and pro-youth policies. We publish Rebel Youth Magazine three-times a year, and members of the Canadian Peace Congress, Canadian Network on Cuba, and the World Federation of Democratic Youth. We fight for real change and for socialism.

Student organizations

Canadian Federation of Students

L’Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ)

Campaigns we support

Progressive Students for CFS

YCL-LJC materials on student issues

YCL BC statement on school cameras and attack on VSB (2010)

YCL BC statement on the student movement (2010)

Education poster (2009)

Against attacks on Women Studies, Organic Agriculture at U of Guelph (2009)

Restore free speech at McMaster (2008)

Against racism & sexism at York University (2008)

Poster (2006)

February 4th Day of Action (2004)

Tuition leaflet (2004)

 

DROP FEES, RAISE WAGES
UNITE AND FIGHT!

YCL Toronto, Oct. 09

Maybe you are a student in high school worried about the cost of college or a trade. Perhaps you’re a young single parent anxious about rising student debt and the future for your child. You could be a second-year university student, angered by your loans disappearing into ridiculously over-priced books, a recent grad getting collection agency calls, or a young worker blocked from education by low wages or layoffs.

We live in a very rich country. But tens of millions of people are struggling against an economic crisis we didn’t make, while our right of access to post-secondary education is stolen.

Fewer and fewer people can afford post-secondary education -- and unless we rise up in a bold, united campaign we'll get a dangerously worsening deal. A major think tank recently said universities should raise fees by 25%, under the pretext of the recession. Some University Presidents (like at UofT) openly call for fee deregulation, mass privatization and reduced access, reflecting big business’ view, provincial governments, and the Harper Conservatives: US-style education, for rich kids only.

Despite the economic crisis, most corporations are posting huge profits. Meanwhile, prices keep rising -- tuition 4x faster than inflation. Wages don't keep up. Not one penny of bail-out money has been called back, but government wages a dirty campaign demanding industrial and unionized workers surrender hard-fought pension and wage gains.

The growing gap between the rich and the poor exposes a class system, rotten with racism and sexism, where tuition fees are yet another user fee on a service that should be free.

MYTHS & FACTS

"Students can afford to pay more."

Fewer youth are going to school because of rising fees. A Sept 09 report described "pools" of working class high school students who can't go to college. Money is the main barrier to access.

"We can't afford to reduce fees."

It is a question of priorities. The imperialist and war in Afghanistan, rejected by Canadians, has a 20 bil. price tag. Cut military spending in half! Troops out now! Reverse the steady reduction of corporate taxes and raise business tax (students in BC will soon pay more in tuition than corporations pay in tax). And nationalizing Canada's energy industry could eliminate all fees and pay for accessible public child care.

"Education is a privilege"

This is a snobs argument. The UN Declaration of Human Rights says education is a right and should be free where countries can afford it (and it is in capitalist Norway and socialist Cuba). That right cannot be denied us.

"Let the market decide"

That means putting the decision into the hands of big business. The economic crisis shows the market has failed. Corporations need an educated workforce but they don't want to pay for it. Nor do they need everyone to be educated: for example all this talk of "cheapening" or "inflation" of degrees is the capitalist class talking about their agenda. Education is not a commodity.

"Campaigning won't do anything"
Students in Quebec blocked an aggressive attack on access in 2005 through mass action united with labour. The history of tuition fee reductions (like in Newfoundland today) is a tale of protests and petitions. Struggle is the only way forward and it needs *you* to be strong, broad, diverse, and militant enough to win.


DROP FEES – RAISE WAGES

The YCL supports the CFS reduce or Drop-Fees campaigns. Today, over a million are unemployed. Youth unemployment is a record 20 per cent. Few can get Employment Insurance. Comprehensive policies based on people’s needs not corporate greed are urgent: raising minimum wage (we say to $16!), EI access (eliminating all barriers, covering everyone for the full duration of unemployment at 90% of former earnings) and jobs (ie. a green industrial plan & plant closure legislation with teeth, massive affordable housing and infrastructure construction). Access to education from cradle to grave is a universal fight, a fight for equity and anti-racist campaigners, for the women's movement, and for our class, the working class. We can't limit the battleground to campus.

Across the country students are fighting with allies to reduce tuition. These are serious and genuine efforts. It needs you to grow, to make our sentiment for lower fees resonate with government. We can't just lobby. There must be an expanding and broadening fight back and tactics moving the most people forward – assemblies, more demos, sit ins, or walk outs.

LIFT THE CAP NOW!

Racist policies against Aboriginal students hurt the entire movement. Education is a human right – and for First Nations a treaty right. But in ‘96 the Federal government imposed a 2% cap on all basic core services funding increases breaking the Treaties. Rising numbers of Aboriginal youth seek degrees. 50%+ of the aboriginal population is under 25. There are long waiting lists for First Nations youth to attend post-secondary; non-status and Metis people don’t get any funding, while facing the same racism. We must lift the cap (and take emergency action to improve Aboriginal peoples social & economic conditions; full recognition of sovereignty and self-determination for aboriginal nations.)

ELIMINATE FEES: THE YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAGUE’S CAMPAIGN

To really win advances in favour of students and all the working people, we need to drop fees altogether, create a system of grants, and abolish loans and all student debt. This international fight has seen encouraging developments in Germany, South Africa, and across Latin America just this year.

We must also expel corporate profiteers and the military from our campuses -- directing research towards benefit of peace and people’s needs, not profit.

And we need to guarantee the right of students to organize without interference -- contrary to the escalating dangerous attack on student unions, the Canadian Federation of Students, the Public Interest Research Groups, and Palestinian solidarity groups orchestrated by the Harper Conservatives, in collusion with top various university administrators, and the police, sometimes bringing in unwarranted and heavy-handed disciplinary and legal charges against activists.)

Lobbying and November’s mass demo can and should grow into a bold, broad, united mass struggle brining the pressure of all youth, parents, trade unionists against the government, and powerful big business. Through united, militant struggle, bigger demands can be won.

ABOUT THE YCL

As capitalism enters another dangerous time of crisis the demand for a better alternative that puts people and the environment before profits is echoing around the world. Now is the time to join the fight back!

The Young Communist League – la Ligue de la Jeunesse Communiste is Canada’s oldest organization of revolutionary youth. Formed in 1923, we struggled against the Great Depression, sent brigades to the Spanish civil war, resisted the cold war, and rallied for peace and nuclear disarmament. We fought racism, sexism, homophobia. We helped build today’s student movement.

Today, the YCL-LJC is made up of school and community clubs across the country, including Quebec, campaigning for immediate anti-war and pro-youth policies. We publish Rebel Youth Magazine three-times a year, and members of the Canadian Peace Congress, Canadian Network on Cuba, and the World Federation of Democratic Youth. We fight for real change and for socialism.
 


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