View Full Version : Canada Faces Third World Status Unless Education Fixed: Report

Old Winter
Thursday, September 9th, 2010, 09:12 PM
Canada faces Third World status unless education fixed: report

Country falling behind in key areas, experts say

Canada could slip into Third World status if its education system is not reformed to produce innovative and creative graduates who can compete globally, say experts responding to the latest report from the Canadian Council on Learning.

"The education system that Canada has is going to lead us to produce more and more people who are chronically unemployable," said futurist Richard Worzel, who studies societal trends and patterns to help clients plan for the future. "What this means for the country is the gradual slip into Third World status."

The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) spent five years studying Canada's education system from the preschool to post-secondary level and reports that, compared with other industrialized countries, Canada is falling behind in many key areas, and that is creating a national knowledge disadvantage.

"In the future, countries will compete on the basis of their collective brains," said Worzel, whose clients include Ford, IBM, Bell Canada Xerox and Nortel. He said within a generation, the economies of highly industrialized countries will be divided into three types of workers:

- Gold collar workers, who are the creators and innovators in society.

- Menial labourers, who work for low wages, are paid hourly and are often on contract.

- The unemployable, who have no marketable skills and cannot find work.

Among its findings, the independent, non-profit research council noted in the report released Wednesday that Canada has no single measurable national goal, benchmark or assessment of achievement for any phase of education. Investments in early childhood education in Canada are among the lowest of the Organization for Economic Cooperation countries (OECD), which means 25 per cent of five-yearolds enter the education system poorly prepared.

Canada also ranks low among OECD countries in the number of graduates in science and engineering, who are key drivers of productivity.

Moreover, 42 per cent of Canadian adults have what the council considers "low" levels of literacy, meaning they "perform below the internationally accepted minimum considered necessary for participation in a knowledge society."

Paul Cappon, president and chief executive officer of CCL, said Canada is not setting the conditions for future success.

Cappon noted that Canada is the only country in the world that doesn't have a federal ministry of education.

However Penny Milton, CEO of the Canadian Education Association, a pan-Canadian research group, questions whether a national strategy will somehow produce the kind of learning system that the CCL is calling for.

Milton said the country needs to focus on the nature and quality of teaching and not necessarily on national benchmarks. She added that Canada educates its most able students just as well as any other country. However, the key is to improve the levels of equity among all Canadians.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Canada+faces+Third+World+status+unless+e ducation+fixed+report/3445007/story.html#ixzz0xjs7NxsO

Old Winter
Thursday, September 9th, 2010, 09:18 PM
Canada getting less literate: Report

An aging population and an influx of immigrants means major Canadian cities will have a lot of adults with low literacy levels in the coming decades, warns a new report.

The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) says Canada's major cities will see a spike in adults with low literacy.

Ottawa will see an 80% increase in adults with low literacy between 2001 and 2031, from about 275,000 to 500,000. Toronto will see an increase of 64% from 1.9 million to 3.2 million. Vancouver will see a 64% jump as well, from 800,000 to 1.3 million,

"These new numbers challenge the popular belief that the state of literacy in Canada will improve over time given Canada's growth in post-secondary graduates. The reality is that additional concentrated effort will be necessary," said Paul Cappon, CCL president, in a statement.

While the numbers are likely to jump, the percentage of adults with low literacy will actually drop from 48% now to 47% in 2031.

"Although the percentage with low literacy will change very little, we expect to see the number of adults living with low literacy increase by more than three million to one million within one generation. These numbers may appear distressing for municipal leaders and decision-makers, but I believe that this information can serve as a useful starting point to improve our literacy future,” said Cappon.

The report outlines a number of problems associated with rising illiteracy. People with low literacy are less likely to become employed or make decent wages, which means they rely more heavily on social assistance.

As well, low literacy is also linked to poorer health, and an influx could strain Canada's health-care system.

“On a grander scale, adult literacy levels have been shown to have a profound influence on the growth or decline of a country’s economy. Specifically, as the proportion of adults with low literacy skills increases, the overall rate of long-term GDP growth slows,” reads the report.

The report measures and predicts prose literacy, which is defined as “the knowledge and skills needed to understand and use information from text, such as news stories, editorials, poems and fiction.”


The Aesthete
Friday, September 10th, 2010, 01:27 PM
Low literacy is linked to poorer health and a decline of a country’s economy, so Canada’s policy of multiculturalism could strain the health-care system and cripple their economy.

I like Canadians except for the fact so many I have met seem to buy right into multiculturalism.