Letter to the Prime Minister
The Canadian Federation of University Women’s Charitable Trust commends the Federal Government for the impressive announcements made recently to support students. These efforts recognize the importance of education in our country and to their role in the success of the health and economic recovery. We believe that students and robust educational institutions are essential to Canada moving forward as an innovative and caring country that will recover from this unprecedented crisis.
We note that some Provincial Governments are following suit – increasing accessibility to scholarships and offering a number of supports for students and we applaud these measures.
The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Charitable Trust has been working with Canadian students since 1976. The CFUW Clubs across the country work towards supporting girls and women in their education goals. Between the CFUW Charitable Trust and the Clubs we issue about one million dollars every year to support fellowships and scholarships. We know how great the need is and we know how important education is for the future of all of us. Education is one of the primary mandates of CFUW and we are proud that we have been such a significant contributor to the future of Canada.
We are alarmed by some initiatives that some provinces are taking reducing supports to educational institutions, both primary and secondary. We understand that education is a provincial responsibility, however in this time of very welcome improved federal-provincial relationship, education support needs to be an important area of discussion and one that we hope that the Federal Government can reinforce the importance of a robust educational system.
We are also proud to see that our public educational institutions, including colleges, universities, and school systems have been very innovative in adapting to the new reality and demonstrating resiliency. We see examples of teachers reaching out to their students; universities offering free on-line courses. All of these are important ways of looking forward.
We know that demand for post-secondary education is increasing, driven by students who are finding employment currently difficult so that they are looking for opportunities to use this time to up-skill and retrain so they can re-enter the workforce with new skills and abilities. We must look to education as an important pillar in our national recovery.
We see examples of the education sector making contributions to overcoming this pandemic by offering their reserves of personal protective equipment. Their research facilities are key to finding new testing methods, vaccines, and ways to sterilize hospital equipment. This is not a time to ask them to reduce resources.