Photo: Chris Young The canadian Press
Students gathered in Toronto last November 1st to protest against the teachers strike in ontario.
Toronto — A half-million college students in Ontario will have the opportunity to withdraw from a semester autumn now compressed by taking advantage of a full refund of tuition fees in the wake of a strike of five weeks.
Students will have two weeks from the resumption of classes, Tuesday, to decide if they want to complete their courses during this semester, said on Monday the minister of higher Education, Deb Matthews. The 24 colleges in the province will be called upon to make these refunds, she added.
Some 12 000 faculties were back at work on Monday, after the strike to an end over the weekend under a special law.
The Ontario liberal government had attempted a first time to adopt the special law of return to work, Thursday night, but the New democratic Party had forced the assembly to sit during the end of the week to discuss the bill, ultimately adopted Sunday afternoon.
Ms. Matthews has said that they believe the rebate program was ” the right thing to do “. She said that she thought the students were entitled to “some form of compensation” for the strike.
A similar rebate of the tuition was offered to students as a result of a strike of 18 days in 2006.
Ms. Matthews indicated that the students who decide to continue the fall semester would be eligible for an amount of $ 500 for unexpected charges because of the conflict of labour, such as childcare expenses and transportation.
“I believe that no amount of money can compensate for the anxiety experienced by the students throughout this process,” said the minister.
The leader of the progressive conservative Party, Patrick Brown, has called on the government to match the funds paid to the students affected by the strike.
The spokesperson for the NDP on matters of higher education, Peggy Sattler, said the compensation of $ 500 as” totally inadequate “. In addition to the financial headaches, the students who decide to pursue the six now face the daunting prospect of complete five weeks of classes in a schedule compressed.
Groups defending the rights of students have pointed out the stress associated with the fact that colleges add more or less two weeks to try to condense five weeks without classes.