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Strategy for Adult Literacy/Education

Tough Challenges: Great Rewards - A Strategy for Adult Literacy/Education in Prince Edward Island

Table of Contents

Full Report - A Strategy for Adult Literacy [PDF] (545Kb)


Adult Learner


Any person 18 years of age or older, or out of public school for a minimum of two years.


Adult Education


Learning opportunities provided to adult learners to achieve up to and including a grade 12 level.


Adult Educator


(i) Qualified educators in their academic field who have additional training to work with adult learners.
(ii) Volunteers trained as content experts in specific areas of adult literacy/education.




Skills needed to read and respond to printed material commonly found at work, at home and in the community. (Basic literacy is grades 1 to 6; functional literacy is grades 7 to 12).




The physical, social, mental and spiritual resources of the individual, the family, the group and the community.


The definitions are written for this report and may have different meanings in other contexts.


Summary Report

In Prince Edward Island, low literacy skills are a complex problem for 40% of the adult population who can read only simple material, and in fact, 17% of whom cannot read at all.

    The economic and social cost of low literacy levels are high:


  • illiteracy hampers businesses ability to train employees, make use of new or advanced skills, introduce new technology and remain competitive


  • illiteracy restricts the Province's ability to attract financial investment needed for economic growth and development


  • illiteracy affects personal income, health, safety, child development, and social, cultural and civic activity.

In Prince Edward Island an aggressive approach to improve adult literacy/education levels is essential if the cycle of dependency and unemployment is to be broken. Education and training are the key to this Province's ability to meet the challenge of global competition.


    Issues addressed by the Strategy for Adult Literacy/ Education in Prince Edward Island are complex and clear:


  • how to insure sufficient and sustainable resources


  • how to significantly broaden the level of community commitment to achieve a fully literate province


  • how to integrate the Strategy for Adult Literacy/Education with those of Health and Community Services, Education and Economic Development.


    The policy framework put forward in the Strategy for Adult Literacy/ Education requires partnerships involving adult learners, communities, post-secondary institutions, public sector, volunteer organizations, adult educators and governments in order to achieve the following objectives:


  • The office of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning will take the lead in formalizing the partnerships required for a successful adult literacy/education system.


  • In cooperation with other departments and groups, the Office of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning will establish a structured adult literacy/education system. The leadership and coordination roles of these partners will be clearly defined.


  • The Provincial Government will take the lead, in conjunction with Federal Government Departments and other partners, to develop a funding model which insures a continuum of adult literacy/education programs.


  • The Strategy for Adult Literacy/Education will ensure a full range of programs is available and responsive to the needs of all adult learners .


  • The Office of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning will work with the University of Prince Edward Island, Holland College and the P.E.I. Association for Adult Education to develop a process for adult educator certification that will be adopted by government and enforced provincially.


  • The Office of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning will facilitate a continuum of learning in a community learning environment as part of an adult learning system.


  • The Office of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning will establish standards and a process for the evaluation of adult literacy/education programs.


  • The Office of Higher Education, Training and Adult Learning will facilitate the establishment of adult learner assessment services.



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