Students want more pay from parties
ERIK FJELDSTED, CONTRIBUTOR
Political parties have stated their promises on what they will do if elected, but some students say they feel their needs won’t be met.
Thomas Oman, an electronic engineering technology student at RRC, said the party promises about post-secondary education are too focused on tuition.
“When I file my taxes, my tuition is not a crippling factor. It was all of the things I did to support going to school that are expenses I couldn’t afford to pay,” said Oman, 28. “I would like to see from a provincial government some sort of support system to help with the everyday costs.”
Samuel Fast, a business administration student at RRC, said he is more concerned with how the parties will help students get jobs after graduation.
“A lot of people graduate with diplomas and degrees but they aren’t able to find work in the fields they’ve studied,” Fast said.
Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said he wants to double the amount of money available for scholarships and bursaries by forming more partnerships with the private sector.
“Our scholarship and bursaries program has been flat lining for years. There isn’t enough money available and there’s a growing demand and a growing cost,” Pallister said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Manitobans are ready to step up and work to partner to address some of these major problems that we have.”
The NDP plans to invest $40 million to double the amount of money in the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative, replace student loans with grants and provide free tuition to students up to the age of 25 who are in care.
“Students have told us that post-secondary education should not be a debt sentence, and we’re listening,” reads a statement from NDP Leader Greg Selinger on the party’s website.
Wab Kinew, the NDP candidate for Fort Rouge, believes education is a public good and the more educated people there are in the province, the better off the province is economically, socially and culturally.
“Education is one of the most important investments we can make because it is an investment in the future of our province,” Kinew said.
According to the Manitoba Liberals website, the party believes Manitoba students are graduating with too much debt. The Liberals want to convert provincial student loans to non-repayable grants, which they said would cost $10 million annually.
The Liberals were unavailable for comment.
The provincial election is on April 19.