The NDP provides the first response to questions on adult education and literacy

Brigid Hayes’ shares her thoughts on the NDP response to questions about their adult education electoral platform. We still hope to receive a response from the LPC and the CPC. Over 60 individuals and groups have signed the CDEACF call to ‘get adult education back on track’. You can read the CDEACF call and the NDP response here

As I was saying...

On September 8th, a statement from a network of organizations and researchers in adult education was released which included a series of questions for each of the political parties in the upcoming election (see my blog post: International Literacy Day – It’s time to get back on track).

Since that time, more than 60 people have added their names to the statement (you can read the original statement and the names of those who have signed on at

To date, we have received one response which is from the New Democratic Party – NDP Response. La versionfrançaisepeutêtre trouvé à:

I am hopeful that the other parties will respond soon so we can compare and contrast their various positions.

Here is the text of the NDP’s response:

  1. What are your commitments with regard to adult literacy and skills development?

NDP Response: Literacy and basic skills…

View original post 881 more words


Vancouver Sun editorial: Reverse the cuts to adult education

Today’s Vancouver Sun editorial calls for the reinstatement of the Education Guarantee or at the very least, a policy that ensures youth and adults have access to a basic education so necessary for employment, earnings and quality of life. The editorial cites  a recent report by Margaret White and Charlie Naylor that argues the Education Guarantee, by providing a pathway to further education, was an anti-poverty strategy that BC cannot do without. The cancellation of the Education Guarantee has resulted in steep declines in adult education enrolment this Fall, begging the question: Who wins by cutting off access to basic education for thousands of BC adults?

It’s BC 2016 Budget Consultation season: It’s time to provide input

In BC, the 2016 Budget consultation season is here (mid-Sepember to mid-October). This process, as prescribed by BC’s Budget Transparency and Accountability Act (2000), gives citizens and organizations an opportunity to provide input on provincial government spending priorities.

While the BC government operates with a surplus, it’s time to speak out against funding cuts and shifts that are decreasing student access to stable, quality adult basic education in the province:

  • fewer classes
  • learning centre closures
  • complicated rules across ministries about who gets funded
  • enrolment decreasing; low take-up of financial aid benefits due to a complicated funding mechanism
  • drain on institutional resources
  • reduced funding to other social services supports impacting vulnerable adult learners

Let the BC government know that it needs to restore stable funding to adult basic education in the province:

  • remove tuition fees (as it did back in 2007)
  • restore core funding

For information on how to provide input, click on the links below:

Deadline for written and online submissions is October 15, 2015.

Federal NDP shares its plans for Adult Education

On September 8 a network of adult educators and researchers sent each political party a list of questions about their adult literacy and adult education policy. Today the network received this response from the NDP.  Among their policy intentions are:

Support for core funding for literacy programs;

Respect for the constitutional rights to literacy and language services in minority language communities;

The integration of literacy and essential skills education in Labour Market Agreements (the current Canada Jobs Grant excludes people with low literacy skills and the unemployed); and,

The re-direction of EI funds to support the education and training of people experiencing unemployment. Responses from the CPC, Greens and LPC will be shared on this blog as and when the network receives them.

CDEAF – EN – 091815

Layoffs coming for 70 Vancouver Community College ABE instructors

September 18, 2015 – ABE instructors at Vancouver Community College, the oldest and largest provider of Adult Basic Education in the province, received notice of layoff today. Layoffs, commencing December 18th, will affect 70 regular and term instructors. The result will be cuts to classes for many hundreds of upgrading students and other second-chance learners in the Metro-Vancouver area.

Election Canada 2015: Let’s get adult education back on track in Canada

Within the context of Sepember 8th, International Literacy Day and Canada’s upcoming 2015 federal election, where do the political parties stand?



“It should be the federal government’s priority to meet adults’ particular educational needs by providing quality learning opportunities. However, we are witnessing:

Until recently, there was a broad consensus on the importance of adult education. However, in the past few years, we have seen the effects of the federal government withdrawal from adult literacy. We are concerned that the government has turned its back on hundreds of thousands of Canadians with low literacy skills, who represent 16% of our country’s population, as well as the 32% of adults who rely on minimal basic skills (according to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies- PIAAC). This course of action threatens to contribute to permanent situations of social, cultural and economic exclusion.”

A network of organizations and researchers are asking the political parties to state their positions:

  • 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, Réseau pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences, RESDAC
  • Linda Shohet, Researcher and consultant, previously Executive Director of The Centre for Literacy
  • Suzanne Smythe, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

Click on the following link to read the full statement, along with questions for political leaders and candidates; and join the signatories in asking our federal parties to address the issues facing literacy and adult education in Canada.

Adult education opens doors, but who is not going back to school this fall?

Representatives from the Federation of Post Secondary Educators (FPSE) and the BCTF assembled to make the case for the thousands of Adult Basic Education students in BC who will not be going back to school this fall. The panel also included Karen Shortt, Vancouver Community College Faculty Association (VCCFA) President, VCC students Eric Li and John Corsiglia, and Chris Murphy, President of the VSB’s Adult Education Instructor’s Union (VESTA). Panel members called for the BC government to make it right: to restore stable adult education funding, a small amount compared to this government’s reported surplus, a small amount that would mean so much to so many adult students.

VCCFA’s Karen Shortt made a direct appeal to the BC Liberals:

“…you had it right the first time. In 2007 when you brought in tuition-free Adult Basic Education, you did a good thing. You can fix it. You can bring that back, and you can bring that back immediately.”

Click on the link to view the full press conference.