Dear Community Ally,
Did you know? Tuition for post-secondary has increased by 244% since 1990-2011 in Ontario, making it the highest tuition fee in Canada (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives). Did you know the Canadian Council on Learning estimated at $1.3 billion annually the costs of social-assistance and criminal justice relating to those dropping out of high school? Canadians who do not complete high school lose $8,000 per year due to illness and health-related expenses, while earning $3,000 annually less than those who completed high school. What can we do to improve the quality and interest in education?
The Families for Education Festival is a project of the Toronto Freeskule Human Rights class. As part of our studies, we have been deeply examining the fundamental rights to education (Article 13 of ICESCR), and concluded that the best way to address this right was to organize this Families for Education Festival as an action-homework project.
We envision the Families for Education Festival is an intergenerational project that will bring together everyone affected by education to discuss what is needed to transform our education systems into inclusive and tolerant spaces where good, quality education is being pursued. One based in Human Rights and out of desire and interest and not only a tool of production, based in fragmented knowledge.
Through shared dialogue, advocacy, and outreach, we have questioned and learned a few things that concern many individuals, groups, and families:
• Education is a human right and should be progressively free at all levels(http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm Article 13, ICESCR);
o Tome students in high school still have to pay for their own supplies
o Tuition for post-secondary has increased by 244% since 1990-2011 in Ontario, making it the highest tuition fee in Canada;
o Post-grad students also pay exceedingly high costs;
• We demand an education that is progressively transformed to respect the fundamental universal and indivisible human rights of all;
• We can collectively advocate and work to make all levels of education a diverse
and interactive environment where one challenges known assumptions
• To increase dialogue within society, where roundtable forums can provide actions
to improve the conditions and curriculum of education, while building on assets and the mandate of education providers: equitable education for all;
Through this educational awareness event we aim to develop advocacy, understanding, solidarity and unity in Toronto and any members from cities and towns across Ontario/Quebec who can attend. The goals of the event are to dialogue, share ideas, engage, and have fun as a collective community of concerned citizens in order to determine best steps moving forward.
The festival will be a combination of socially conscious music performances, workshops for all ages, community art projects, and roundtable/world cafe discussions towards action.
We recognize that individually, groups and coalitions are doing a tremendous amount of great work; we hope that this festival can be a space where we plan collectively, and from which we may move forward an agenda that points to the common struggles within our education system, as well as alternatives moving forward.
We are partnered with LIFT and Womens’ Visions For a Better World, and invite you and your organization to participate as well by: attending, sharing resources (funds, media, volunteers, equipment, prizes, games, etc.), outreach, facilitation, working group representative or any other ideas and suggestions are welcome. We hope to make this a strong collective movement transforming our educational structures towards equitable opportunities for all.
If you have any ideas, questions or comments please contact us; we would love to hear from you!
Human Rights Advocate
Tel: +1 647 385-5754