I am part of a network that developed a declaration on adult literacy and education in Canada which was released today on International Literacy Day (see press release below). The declaration has been sent to all political parties for their response. Please feel free to use this declaration to ask your local candidates how they feel about adult education and literacy skills development in our country.
Click here to read the declaration: September 8 Declaration
The material is also available in French at http://www.cdeacf.ca/canadaelections2015
PRESS RELEASE For immediate release
Literacy and skills development: A network of organizations and researchers calls on federal political parties
September 8th, 2015 — On this International Literacy Day, researchers and national organizations involved in adult education and literacy seek to know more about the commitments of various political parties. The network calls on parties to take a stand on seven proposals and to reveal their plans for putting adult education back on track in Canada.
In our day and age, prosperous countries, successful businesses, dynamic communities, social progress and individual development involve high levels of knowledge and skills. “Adults are faced with new challenges in all areas of their lives. It should be the federal government’s priority to meet adults’ educational needs by providing quality learning opportunities”, indicated Isabelle Salesse, President of the RESDAC, one of the groups that signed the platform. The network deplores that the current federal campaign overlooks issues related to adult education. “We hope that all parties include these concerns into their election platforms and publicly announce their commitments”, adds Ms. Salesse.
In the platform made available today, signatories mention that over the past years, they have observed a policy of withdrawal on the part of the federal government in the fields of adult literacy and skills development. “We are concerned that the government turns its back on hundreds of thousands of Canadians with low literacy skills”, explains Linda Shohet, a researcher in adult education who also signed the platform. “We hope that political parties respond to our appeal because leaving adult education behind is a risky proposition in societies that draw so heavily on knowledge and skills”, adds the researcher.
The platform signatories are Daniel Baril, Executive Director, Institut de coopération en éducation des adultes (ICÉA), Geneviève Dorais-Beauregard, Executive Director, Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition féminine (CDÉACF), Brigid Hayes, researcher in adult education, Isabelle Salesse, President of the Réseau pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences (RESDAC), Linda Shohet, researcher and consultant, previously Director of The Centre for Literacy and Suzanne Smythe, Assistant Professor, Adult Education, Simon Fraser University.
The network has already submitted the platform to the main contending parties in this campaign and it will make their responses known as they are received. The platform and answers provided by parties will be posted on the CDÉACF website at http://www.cdeacf.ca/canadaelections2015
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For more information: Gabrielle Lopez, Interim Executive Director, RESDAC, 613 749-5333 directiongénérale@resdac.net