Working People Reject Ford's Campaign to Make Ontario Education Open for Business Profit

The ruling class in power in Canada is pursuing its assault on public education as part of its broad campaign to Open Canada for Business. This means handing over public education to narrow private interests from which they can expropriate profit. In Ontario, the Ford government wants public education open for business for enterprise profit for private education, interest profit from private money lending to the public treasury, and business profit for contractors and suppliers such as E-education equipment from Microsoft, Apple and other monopolies.

In opposition, the working people uphold the modern definition that education is a right for all at the highest possible level. They want governments to assume with honour their social responsibility to organize the productive forces to guarantee the right of all to the highest quality education.

The Ford government's attacks on public education, on teachers' right to decide their working conditions and on students' right to conduct their own affairs are an abdication of its social responsibility and expose it as unfit to govern. Instead of increasing investments in public education and giving the teachers a say and control over the direction of the sector and the right to say No! the government is determined to make Ontario education open for business and a target for private profit.

The open for business mantra leads to finding all possible ways for private interests to profit from educating the youth. For private enterprise to expropriate profit directly, public education is debased so that those who can afford private education for their children will do so. Governments guarantee an expansion of the sale of education supplies from the global monopolies with public and individual purchase of high tech equipment necessary for e-education. The refusal to recognize and exchange the social value of the capacity to work of educated youth with the big companies that consume it means that general tax revenue must be used for investment in education and when that is insufficient governments continue the discredited and outmoded practice of borrowing from private moneylenders.

Apart from directly profiting from education being open for business, the anti-social offensive seeks to divert public funds that have been or could be invested in public education into the hands of the financial oligarchy through pay-the-rich schemes of subsidies, grants, guaranteed contracts and prices, tax exemptions and other handouts to big business. Paying the rich has become a standard component of being open for business.

The education sector is more worker intensive than most. This presents two problems for the ruling elite in terms of enabling their anti-social offensive and making Ontario education open for business profit. They seek to reduce the quantity of teachers in relation to the number of students and they seek to eliminate any resistance from the human factor to their anti-social program.

The human factor however is essential to the quality of education. To lower the ratio of teachers to students necessarily lowers the quality of the relation between teachers and students. Anyone who has done any teaching would attest to the fact that once the number of students in a K-12 class exceeds 20 the quality of the relation between the teacher and students begins to deteriorate. The deterioration does not build "resilience" in students but simply reduces the education quality regardless of how hard the teacher may work. Private schools are a testament to this as they consistently offer smaller class numbers. To expropriate their enterprise profit, the private schools charge large tuition fees, demand subsidies from the public treasury and put enormous pressure on teachers to reduce their claim on the value they create.

Teachers and other education workers are in the best position to formulate a path forward to guarantee a quality education as a right for all. Instead they are being attacked with their voices silenced and their rights abused. As a modern society this is unacceptable. The Ford government in its anti-social offensive to make Ontario education open for business profit and to attack the human factor in education is proving itself unfit to govern. It has shown in practice a refusal to assume its social responsibility to mobilize the productive forces to guarantee the right of all to education at the highest level and to mobilize the human factor in education as the greatest resource and voice for opening a path forward to assure a bright future for all our youth.

Stand with Teachers and Students in Opposition to the Ford Government's Anti-social Offensive on Education!

This article was published in

Number 11 - March 28, 2019

Article Link:
Working People Reject Ford's Campaign to Make Ontario Education Open for Business Profit - K.C. Adams


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