Despite serving 12,000 students, being crammed to the rafters and having to turn away many students who apply, four of the five Toronto District School Board’s excellent adult education centres are listed as half empty. The reason? The Ministry of Education considers these learners to be “ghosts” who don’t exist because they are older than 18.
To meet the ministry’s enrolment threshold of 65 per cent utilization, the TDSB would need to close two of their five adult learning schools, denying opportunity for tens of thousands people who are determined to better themselves.
Other TDSB schools hosting adult “ghost students” in English as second language programs are similarly considered to be severely “underutilized.” So are award-winning schools like Sunnyview (31 per cent) and Park Lane (57 per cent), which need large, specialized facilities to provide education to students with extremely severe physical challenges.