September 26, 2006
For immediate release
New Awareness Campaign Encourages Islanders to Get Their GEDs
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The Department of Education, Holland College, Tim Hortons and Wendy’s have launched the campaign to improve literacy levels among young adults. The campaign uses table tent cards, tray liners and message boards at Tim Hortons and Wendy’s restaurants across PEI to send a simple message: Want to get your GED/Grade 12? Call 1 800 446 5265.
Education Minister Mildred Dover advised that when people get their GEDs they receive a great sense of personal satisfaction and they find that many new doors are open to them and their families. “GED grads tell us that with their grade 12 they can do things they have never done before,” said Minister Dover. “They can apply for new jobs that they weren’t eligible for in the past. They can help their children with their school work and they can go on to further learning if they so choose.”
Danny Murphy, owner of Tim Hortons and Wendy’s, said there are many good reasons why the business community should be involved in promoting literacy and learning. “Employees with good literacy and numeracy skills are in high demand because they usually communicate well with customers and provide higher levels of customer service. Generally, they are easier to retrain and more likely to move up in the organization,” he said. “At a time when businesses are constantly introducing new products and procedures, good literacy skills are no longer an option but an essential requirement for business success.”
Mr. Murphy said more and more businesses are promoting learning in the workplace. “In our organization we offer ongoing training programs, as well as opportunities to continue learning through bursaries and scholarships. We are pleased to be working now with Workplace Education PEI to establish our first literacy and learning program that will allow Tim Hortons and Wendy’s employees to get their GEDs at work,” he said.
The GED program, or the General Educational Development testing program, is an international program that enables people to get their grade 12 equivalency later in life. To be eligible for the GED program, a person must be 18 years old and a PEI resident. There are five tests in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Together, they take about 7 hours to write. Individuals may choose to take the five exams over a two-day period, or they may wish to take one exam at a time over a longer period.
Beginning in October, GED preparation courses will be offered at no charge at Holland College or at community learning centres. Course materials are also available for those who wish to prepare for the exams on their own.
Funding for the Literacy and Adult Basic Education program in PEI is provided by the provincial government and the Labour Market Development Agreement.
For more information on GEDs, contact the Department of Education at 902 368 4650 or visit www.gov.pe.ca/educ