Adult literacy gets $185 million funding boost from province

Posted
June 19, 2017
Article Source
Toronto Star

Some 80,000 more adult learners will be able to hit the books — upgrading their literacy, math and computer skills — with a $185 million boost from the Ontario government.

"This is huge," said Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, also the province's minister of advanced education and skills development, in a telephone interview. 

"We are doubling the funding over the next four years for adult literacy and basic skills."

She made the announcement Friday in London, saying afterwards that "I've just come from the event, and hearing the stories of people who didn't get the education that they could have got or should have got, and making the decision to go back and learn to read, and learn numeracy skills."

The funding is part of the government's push to improve literacy levels. Premier Kathleen Wynne's own "Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel" urged literacy training as necessary for today's economy and to help with labour productivity.

"It's about access," added Matthews, who said the free help often leads students to further their education. 

"It's just beautiful," she said of one woman she met who took adult literacy courses, went to college and is now heading to university. "Those are the stories. About 15 per cent of the population does not have the literacy and numeracy skills required to compete in this economy, so we've got to focus on (them)."

Those 15 per cent would have trouble "understanding calculations, reading instructions or working with a computer. This new investment will help more people get the training and skills they need to pursue employment and educational goals in a changing economy," the government said in a written release.

Read more: Adult literacy gets $185 million funding boost from province