Wednesday, November 18, 2009The Eyeopener • 3
Suns p nsps pv ms
By Vanessa Greco
Just beyond a quiet alcove in the heart o Yor-kville, Sophie Nation spends two hours a week shopping or an A-plus grade.For about $1,000, the high school senior en-rolled in an English course at Blyth Academy, aToronto-based private school — even though shecan earn the same credit at the public school shealready attends ull-time.“It’s denitely a lot easier,” said Nation, whoplans on applying to Ryerson or theatre or lm. With looming university application deadlines,the 16-year-old adds that she can’t aord to have abad mark on her transcript.Credit shopping, or the practice o paying or abetter grade, is a red-fag issue or educators and alast resort or university hopeuls.The Eyeopener led a reedom o inormationrequest (FOI) and obtained inspection, com-plaint and general records or our Toronto privateschools. The package o about 100 pages and re-vealed that over 60 per cent o students enrolled ateach private school were taking Grade 12 credits.“Every year there are more and more studentsaware o it, talking about it and taking the credits,”said Joan Timmings, ormer president o the PeelDistrict School Board’s Guidance Heads Associa-tion who has spoken out against credit shopping.Starting this all, when a student registered ata publicly-unded school earns a credit in privateschool a capital “P” will appear beside the gradeon their Ontario Student Transcript (OST). According to Steve Robinson, Ministry o Edu-cation spokesperson, the “P” notation is meantto increase transparency. He said the Ministry isaware o credit shopping allegations at privateschools, but doesn’t consider it an issue.However, July 2008 inspection records revealthat Toronto Collegiate Institute didn’t meet pro-vincial curriculum expectations when assessing students. As well, the school ailed to correctly maintain student transcripts. A year earlier, the school ailed to enorce atten-dance standards and the minimum 110 hours orcourse completion.Ministry records describe the school as “a sec-ondary school that oers credits mostly to stu-dents attending publicly unded schools.” In May 2008, over 88 per cent o their student population was taking Grade 12 credits.The school’s website advertises reasons to at-tend. One o them is, “Earn your grades and enter your avourite university/college.”The Ministry o Education hasn’t had to revokea private school’s credit-granting ability in the lastthree years, according to Robinson.There are over 900 private schools in Ontario. While only some credit-granting private schoolsare accused o selling grades, none are exemptrom the “P” notation.This includes Hassan Mirzai, principal andowner o FutureSkills High School. He drated aletter to the Ministry opposing the new notation.“The public will assume that it is a warning — similar to the ones placed on restaurants,” he wrote, adding that the capital “P” might eventu-ally put some schools out o business.Instead, Mirzai recommended more requentinspections to weed out irresponsible schools.In May 2006, an inspector ound that studentsat FutureSkills weren’t being assessed consistently by teachers. At the time, out o the 92 students en-rolled, 80 were taking Grade 12 credit courses.Ryerson’s registrar Keith Alnwick, who overseesadmissions, believes the university won’t treattranscripts with a “P” notation dierently.“We’ve always said we’re going to take every grade at ace value,” he said. “On what basis can we argue that a grade is not valid?”
— With fles rom Carys Mills
Hassan Mirzai, principal of FutureSkills High School.
PHoto: cHriS dale
By shirley lin
aSSociate NewS editor
Ryerson students will have an extra $12 in theirpockets ater the Toronto Transit Commission(TTC) voted to increase students’ monthly Metro-pass by only $3 at the meeting on Nov. 17.Ocials supported a motion to give collegeand university students a break, granting themthe same Metropass discount that high schoolstudents will receive at $99. The meeting was todecide on the proposed are hike amidst a budgetshortall o $106 million.“This is historic,” said Toby Whiteld, RyersonStudents’ Union (RSU) vice-president nance ser-vices. “This is the rst time that students are being recognized by the TTC as students.”Currently, Ryerson students pay $96 or theirmonthly Metropass under the VIP plan throughthe RSU. Students will only have to shell out anextra $3, instead o paying the proposed $111.The decision also includes part-time students in
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post-secondary. The discounted pass is not trans-erable, so students will have to show identica-tion to use it. Adult riders will now have to pay an extra quar-ter to use the transit ater the TTC voted in avouro the hike. A regular Metropass will now cost$121, an 11 per cent increase.“Quite rankly, the students need a break,” saidJoe Mihevc, TTC vice-chair.“We have been trying or several years to try and gure out a way to lower prices or students;recognizing that they are a community in need. So we ound a way.”The RSU, alongside other Toronto studentunions lobbied the TTC to extend high schoolstudents’ Metropass discount to post-secondary students. Citing youth unemployment and hightuition ees, student union leaders said studentscan’t aord to pay more.“Students have had enough and can’t stomachanother are hike,” said Hamid Osman rom theCanadian Federation o Students.
rysn -p suns f sh
By Michael DeruyTer
Ryerson student Ankit Chhibber died on Nov. 7rom complications resulting rom a car accident.The accident took place at the intersection o Keele Street and Steeles Avenue West on Oct. 31 atabout 9 a.m, according to Toronto police.Chhibber was admitted to Sunnybrook Hospi-tal where he passed away a week later. He was 19 years old.The third-year inormation technology man-agement student was in the midst o a co-opplacement with Environment Canada.“It’s a hard loss to take,” said riend Aynka Sat-kunananthan, who has known Chhibber sinceGrade 10. “He was the happiest guy you could evermeet.”Satkunananthan, a third-year business studentat Ryerson, said that Chhibber was stubborn butknew how to lit everyone’s spirits.“I remember when we went to Detroit lastThanksgiving and even though we were running late Ankit made us stop at the University o Wind-sor just so that he could play oosball with hiscousin,” he said.“Even though we were so mad at him he was
It was a hard loss to take. He was thehappiest guy you could ever meet.
— Aynka Satkunananthan,third-year business student
Ankit Chhibber died on Nov. 7.
PhoTo courTesy of aynka saTkunananThan
Contrary to the desk sign, this man is Adam Giambrone.
PhoTo: chris Dale
able to make us happy. That’s just the type o guy he was.” According to Satkunananthan, Chhibber wasenjoying his co-op placement and hoped to pur-sue a career in inormation technology.Those within the school aculty are mourning the loss as well.“Ankit will be greatly missed,” said Tony Conte,director, vice provost, students. Last year, Chhib-ber worked or Conte as a peer advisor.“I someone asked him or directions he wouldn’t just tell them where it was, he would walk them there to make sure they ound it,” saidConte. “He always went the extra mile.”The President’s oce sent a letter o condo-lence to the amily on behal o Ryerson. As well, Heather Lane Vetere, vice provost stu-dents, attended the visitation on Nov. 12 to oerpersonal condolences.