The benefits of a basic education extend beyond the purview of the two education ministries.
In Improving Adult Basic Skills: Benefits to the Individual and to Society, a study out of the UK, http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/4632/1/RR251.doc, and in Lance Lochner’s The Non-Production Benefits of Education: Crime, Health and Good Citizenship (University of Western Ontario), http://economics.uwo.ca/people/lochner_docs/nonproductionbenefits_dec10.pdf,
Individuals who improve their basic skills:
- have increased labour market participation and lifetime earnings
- resist unemployment
- suffer less from poor physical and mental health
- are more likely to have children who do well in school
- resist criminal activity
- are more likely to be active in community
- and are less discriminatory in their attitudes
It’s time to connect the dots. Let’s engage with all agencies and interests across government (e.g., health, economy, employment, K-12, community development, justice, human rights, and all the others) that recognize the merit in supporting adult learners as they strive for a basic education.
Reinstating the $5 million that was pulled from adult basic education suddenly looks like a bargain.