Post-secondary education policy starts at home

Mother and Daughter

There's a lot of conversation about public policy as it relates to post-secondary education. But education isn’t just about public policy; it’s about encouraging children to excel and inspiring them to fulfil their dreams for the future. At CST Consultants we believe it’s not public policy that will motivate a child; it’s the education positive environment that she grows up in that instils in her the belief that achieving any dream is possible. It’s about what happens in families and with their children. I know. I have seven of my own. My hope for all of them is that they will achieve their full potential in life; and part of that is my hope that they will all pursue higher education.

Think about it. Putting aside a little money every month in an RESP, from the time a child is born to when they graduate, communicates two things in a tangible way: higher education is valuable, and they are expected to go. As parents, we move from just talking about the value of education, to actually doing something to make it happen. And, in 18 years when those children are ready to go on to university, college or trade school, money will be there to make that possible.

Don’t misunderstand me: getting post-secondary education policy right is important for the long-term success of our society. But a well-funded post-secondary education system does little for the boy who, in grade 9, decides he will never go to college because the expectation just wasn’t there.

Addressing this requires long-term thinking, something many governments struggle with in a world of four-year election cycles. The Government of Canada ‘got it’ with the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond. But now provincial governments are starting to ‘get it’ too. Provinces such as Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and now British Columbia all have their own programs; demonstrating exactly the type of long-term, visionary thinking needed to get more kids into higher learning. CST Consultants is proud to say we were part of the dialogue to make these programs a reality.

There is something powerful – perhaps even transformative – in empowering families to take control of their future and turn their hopes and dreams into reality.

- Peter Lewis