NEWS RELEASE · 24th August 2012
NWCC Students' Union
TERRACE – Earlier this week, the Ministry of Advanced Education announced $1.2 million dollars in capital funding for NWCC.
2012-13 NWCC Budget facts:
-Over $1.2M cut from teaching.
-Over $1M cut from capital maintenance.
Students will not benefit from the $1.2M that was cut from teaching in the budget for this year – the 2012-13 budget that was passed in April saw the firing of about half of the colleges instructors. This caused many programs to collapse and some students were academically stranded part-way through their 2 year program.
“It is not clear what upgrades will add up to $1.2M dollars. What we do know is the $1.2M plus that was cut from the 2012-13 budget meant the loss of almost half of the University Credit instructors/courses and 55% of the Career and College Prep instructors. For example, faculty in the Terrace CCP program have been reduced to three (3) from seven (7) full time instructors,” said Mikael Jensen, Organiser for the Northwest Community College Students’ Union.
The campus in Kitimat is slated for upgrades however there are zero (0) instructors on that campus and only one (1) instructor in Houston for 2012-13.
“Introduction to trades, mining skills, ect are fine but they do not replace existing, time-tested and accredited programs,” Said Jensen. He added “the student spaces the government is speaking of is also a mystery, unless they are counting the number of flaggers and first aid attendants, but these cost- recovery programs should not be considered provincial programs as the college does not receive annual core (government) funding from the Ministry for such programs – they are one-off funding and cost-recovery programs,” added Jensen.
To provide some clarity around this announcement, consider that the college had over $1M dollars cut from the capital maintenance and infrastructure budget over the past 3 years – in 2010 it was nearly $1M, cut to just over $0.4M by 2011, and is down to just over $200,000 for 2012.
Jensen added, “There is nothing new about this money, it was withheld in April and re-announced this week.”
Students suggest that the priorities announced by the Ministry are backwards - "Its great to have new floors in your classroom, but without an instructor in the front of the room, new floors are irrelevant," said Shalane Pauls, NWCCSU Provincial Representative and Aboriginal Liaison with the Canadian Federation of Students-BC.