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High youth unemployment and cutbacks in government funding for post-secondary education are the new realities confronting students The implications for most working and middle class students are either to abandon education altogether and to accept a future of McJobs and unemployment or to be saddled with a lifetime of debt The needs of capitalist production Since the end of WW II science and technology have been playing a dramatically increased role in the process of capitalist production in Canada As a result there has been an increase in the demand for a more highly educated labour force For example between 1971 and 1986 jobs primarily concerned with the creation and utilization of data and technical knowledge have represented two-thirds of net job growth This has led to a rapid expansion in school enrolment Between 1951 and 1993 the number of full-time post-secondary students has increased over tenfold growing from 91000 to almost 1 million However accompanying the scientific and technological revolution is a tremendous growth in productivity that has led to higher levels of unemployment Between 1980 and 1993 youth unemployment increased from 12 to 175 leaving many with no other alternative but to remain in or return to school Current trends in education Since 1984-85 tuition fees have more than doubled across Canada pushing more students into the labour market in search of income While in 1980 31 of full-time students aged 15-24 held jobs during the school year by 1989 this number had reached 41 This worsening economic situation has also seriously interfered with the studies of college and university full-time students as almost a third of them were forced to work 20 or more hours per week during the school year Another reflection of the economic hardship of students is their growing debt burden In 1984 114000 Ontario students received around 4000 million in student aid by 1993-94 as tuition continued to
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