Read the “Pathways to Education” website and this questions and answers in the National Post and one thing immediately comes to mind. If this program is so very successful, why on earth is it not being implemented in every school in Canada?
Right now, for example, it is only available in six locations: Regent’s park, Lawrence Heights and Rexdale in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener and Verdun in Montreal.
The program is said to consist of four support pillars: academic (tutoring four nights a week), social (mentors), financial (a $4000 grant towards post-secondary education) and advocacy. But, from what I understand, although there are teachers and other professionals involved in the academic, social and advocacy parts of the program, the success of this program is the dedicated volunteers who do the tutoring and mentoring in the evenings and on weekends.
Just how successful is the approach? Well, in Regent’s Park, for instance, since the program was implemented in 2001, the dropout rate has been reduced from 56% to 10% — which is a significant result. Moreover, absenteeism has dropped by 50% while college and university enrollment has increased from 20% to 80% — with the majority being the first in their family to attend post-secondary.
Therefore, as I said at the start of this post, with that kind of success rate, why is the Pathways to Education program not available everywhere there is a need to reduce drop out rates, thereby providing the opportunity for kids to succeed?