Through Budget 2013: A Sound Plan, A Secure Future, the provincial government is committed to focusing on innovation and finding efficiencies to ensure a more effective delivery of services.
This includes developing new approaches that will better prepare people to find work and establish a career.
As part of this approach, the Department of Advanced Education and Skills is changing the delivery of the provincial Adult Basic Education (ABE) program to ensure better results for adult learners. This involves moving the
program out of College of the North Atlantic and engaging new training providers in the private and not-for-profit sectors.
It is important for students to understand that the ABE curriculum in Newfoundland and Labrador will not change.
Students will receive the same standard and content of ABE at private institutions and not-for-profit organizations as they receive at College of the North Atlantic. Eligibility requirements for funding will also remain the same. We will work with students and the college to ensure the transition to a different training provider is as smooth as possible. Meanwhile, the ABE program at College of the North Atlantic, which about 40 per cent ABE students currently attend, will continue for the current 2012-13 academic year.
We understand and respect the attachment some ABE students have with College of the North Atlantic. However, given our fiscal reality, we must ensure programs are being delivered in the most cost-effective and efficient means possible.
Annually, it costs approximately $5,000 more to provide ABE to a student at College of the North Atlantic than at a private school, and the average cost of ABE per student in this province is about three times the cost in other Atlantic provinces.
As well, the annual graduation rate for 2011-12 for ABE at private training institutions is approximately 42 per cent and at College of the North Atlantic it is about 31 per cent.
We will continue to ensure that ABE is offered to people across Newfoundland and Labrador. This includes looking at alternate forms of how we offer ABE for particular locations, including expanding e-learning or tutoring for remote communities.
Delivering ABE through a request for proposals process will strengthen accountability, improve results and ensure adult learners get the education and skills they need. Graduates will have the confidence, self-sufficiency and knowledge to contribute to our economy and help ensure a sustainable future.
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills