When government leaders talk about the CASPs, they speak in
glowing terms about the number of programs which have been established and the
number of students who attend--never about the educational outcomes. The CASP
partnerships were conceived as an economic solution to education and training
problems. The partners are assigned economic responsibilities such as providing
resources, raising funds, locating facilities, distributing. curriculum
materials, and providing income support to participants; but they do not appear
to have much understanding of the funding level necessary to build a viable and
effective education program. The funding is not only minimal, it falls below
the educational poverty line. Responsibility for maintaining an educational
perspective devolves to the facilitators, who are neither viewed as partners in
the program nor consulted about educational decisions, which are made by
bureaucrats working out of the central offices of the DAEL.
for CASPs is
falls below the
In the long run, the educational outcomes of the CASPs depend on
the skill, knowledge, ability, wisdom and creative genius of the facilitators.
They are the core of the CASPs. If they cannot be better paid, they should at
least be respected for their contributions, supported and encouraged throughout
the duration of their contract, and provided with appropriate training. And
they should be recognized and valued as equal partners in the venture.
Dorothy MacKeracher is a professor of adult education
at the University of New Brunswick, and is a feminist scholar, teacher, and
- This paper draws on an inquiry conducted into the nature of
the academic upgrading programs offered in New Brunswick with funding support
from the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission. For further information,
see MacKeracher, D. "Academic upgrading in New Brunswick," unpublished report
available from the author, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick,
Fredericton, NB, 1993.
- The letter from the Minister of State for Literacy reads, in
part, "La possibilité d'emploi offerte par le programme fournit une
expérience de l'enseignement à beaucoup de personnes qui n'ont
pas eu l'occasion d'utiliser leurs compétences. Cette expérience
pourrait servir de tremplin pour obtenir un emploi de longue durée ou
permanent en enseignement. On n'offre pas d'avantages sociaux complets aux
employés du programme, car il s'agit de travail a contrat, non d'un
emploi permanent. ... Il est intéressant de noter que, dans d'autres
provinces, la formation en alphabétisation est fournie par des
bénévoles. Toutefois, le Nouveau-Brunswick a choisi une autre
option afin d'assurer une formation de qualité uniforme à tous
- DAEL (1991) "Academic upgrading services." Fredericton, NB:
New Brunswick Department of Advanced Education and Labour, 1991, p.13.
- Curtis, K. "Literacy initiatives in New Brunswick: 1975 to
1992." Unpublished paper available from the author, Woodstock Community
College, Woodstock, NB, 1992.
- Downey, J. & Landry, A. (chairs) To live and learn:
The challenges to education and training. Second report of the New
Brunswick Commission on Excellence in Education. Fredericton, NB: New Brunswick
Policy Secretariat, 1993, p.9.