Once again, it has been a while since I wrote anything in our blog. Why can’t I just make this a regular thing and not wait until we have something vital to say?? Maybe I need to enroll in a course “How to remember to blog.” I might get some tips 🙂
I am writing to clarify some information that we received and that you have maybe seen in the media in the recent days.
As of May 3, 2024, GED testing will no longer be available in Canada. GED is a test that allows adults who have not finished secondary school the opportunity to earn an Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate signed by the Minister of Education. This a nation wide stoppage and it affects thousands of Canadians. There is word that a replacement will be made available but we don’t have any official announcement.
Literacy Nipissing has been offering GED preparation classes for almost 15 years. In the past 6 years, we also hosted the testing so that North Bay citizens didn’t have to travel out of town to achieve this vital certificate. Over 100 adults in North Bay alone, have written and achieved this certificate, that we know of. Holding this credential has allowed many of our students to attend college, find meaningful employment, sign up for an apprenticeship but mainly, fulfill a lifetime goal. We have heard a lot of excited screams and seen huge grins when that big envelope with a certificate comes in the mail. AND we all feel like proud parents, our buttons popping when we hear the good news.
There are a lot of different reasons why an adult may not have completed high school. Society believes there is only one reason – laziness. When I hear that, I want to punch the nearest wall!!! It is not right to make assumptions when you have not spoken to people who don’t have their high school diploma. High school was not the same experience for many people and a high school diploma is not achievable by everyone. A GED is a viable option for many people who don’t have a high school diploma and it takes into account life experience.
Before I started working at Literacy Nipissing, I worked in other adult upgrading organizations. I didn’t have any experience with someone writing the GED. I had heard it was easy to get and anyone who wanted to write it could pass. In fact, I was told that GED stood for “good enough diploma”. Boy, was I wrong!! It is HARD. One year, I decided to write all the math tests that were available to us and I didn’t fly through them. I had to really think and calculate to get the right answer. The questions were real life situations and involved more than one operation. If you didn’t review whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, area, perimeter, volume, integers, factoring…get my point – you would be lost. There was some prior knowledge needed to write the social studies. You had to know a little about how our government works. The point that I am trying to get across is that people who have earned their GED, EARNED THEIR GED. It was not just given to them because they decided that it was the easier route, they worked for it and achieved it. These 100 or more adults who earned their GED while attending here, deserved it and worked hard to get that precious diploma.
As of August 14, 2023, we still don’t know what the GED will be replaced with. At this time, we have been told that there is another system that may be ready to be used sometime in 2024 or later but we can’t give a concrete answer. There needs to be a replacement for the GED so that even more adults can reach their goals and we are hoping that it will be in place sooner rather than later.
Until then, we are going to try and concentrate on the next test that we have scheduled – November 22, 2023. It will be the last GED test written in North Bay. But the legacy of the GED will be seen in your fellow citizens who have worked hard to earn the right to be called high school graduates by completing the GED.