The Federal Government has expressed a desire to support skills training and digital literacy for Canadians in the face of increased automation and AI, and in the interest of equity as the digital society intensifies. In this latest post from her blog ‘As I was saying’ Brigid Hayes wonders why the Federal Government is cutting funding to the very programs that do this work?
Below is a news release from Literacy Nova Scotia outlining the dire situation facing literacy programs and coalitions.
For Immediate Release: International Literacy Day 2017
Friday September 8, 2017 is International Literacy Day, a time to acknowledge the importance of education, learning and skill development in a rapidly evolving world. Adult literacy programs are vital to Canadians who try to build better lives for themselves and their families. Workers need these programs to gain the essential skills required to participate in our increasingly digital economy. Family literacy programs support skill-building opportunities for children while encouraging essential skill development for parents.
To simply cut funding off to literacy programs doesn’t make economic or moral sense, but that is exactly what is happening. The four Atlantic Literacy Coalitions requested $600,000 – $150,000 of funding for core programs for each, but were denied. The result is that the PEI Literacy Alliance, the long-running…
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I am working on a project that tells the story of NALD/COPIAN and the fate of adult literacy collections in the wake of cuts to national and provincial literacy programs in recent years. This work has brought me into contact with people and organizations who are working to protect these resources from the virtual/actual recycling bin.
One of these is Learning in Solidarity, a book as well as a website hosted by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Visit their adult literacy timeline for a primer on Canada’s history of adult and worker education, or their resources for setting up a worker centred literacy program. The book and website are the products of collective knowledge from 25 years of adult literacy programming within the labour movement, with relevance to many other literacy sectors and settings.
Do you know of other efforts to save the stories of adult literacy work in Canada? Please feel free to post to this blog, or to contact Suzanne Smythe directly.
Suzanne Smythe is one of the BC educators who started the Adult Basic Education is a Basic Right! blog in response to the BC Liberals 2014 policy changes that ushered in a bleak period for adult basic education (ABE) learners in the province. Now it is August 2017, and the new BC NDP government has fulfilled a key election promise – the reinstatement of tuition-free ABE. Tuition-free ABE is one part of a larger discussion, and Symthe gives a welcome and full explanation here in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Policy Note (August 29, 2017).