Canadian Council on Learning calls for federal leadership on education

The report recommends establishing clear and measurable national goals for each stage of learning as well as independent monitoring to assess Canada’s progress on meeting these goals.

Ottawa (13 Oct. 2011) - Canada continues to slip further down the learning curve and is falling behind the international competition in many stages of education and learning, according to the final report by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL).

“While Canada does possess strengths in education, we are not setting the conditions for future success,” says Dr. Paul Cappon, President and CEO of CCL. “The principal cause of this unacceptable and deeply troubling state of affairs is that our governments have failed to work together to develop policies to improve the learning futures of Canadians of all ages.”

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has long called for a Canada Education Act (CEA), like the Canada Health Act, to outline funding commitments from the federal government and provincial/territorial governments. The CCL is calling for a Council of Ministers on Learning— a federal/provincial/territorial body responsible for learning across the country.

The report also recommends establishing clear and measurable national goals for each stage of learning as well as independent monitoring to assess Canada’s progress on meeting these goals.

The report , What is the Future of Learning in Canada, describes Canada’s performance in each stage of learning and outlines positive developments in each area. It also points to some troublesome trends and makes recommendations for improvement.

Early childhood education and learning (ECEL): Affects a child’s health, well-being and skills development yet research indicates that 25% of Canadian children entering school lack the foundation needed for successful acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills.

Canadian high-school:  Students had an early advantage over other countries and consistently performed above the OECD average in standardized international testing, but we are now losing the lead and falling behind other countries.

Post-secondary institutions:  Canada has no national system for post-secondary education and is losing ground in the areas of research, innovation and productivity.

Continuing education: Canada is not making progress in adult and workplace learning and, as a result, our productivity remains low, our adult-literacy levels poor and lifelong-learning opportunities limited.

The Conservative government cut the CCL’s federal funding meaning it will cease operations in the spring of 2012. This will leave a void in the area of education and learning advocacy in Canada.

More information:

What is the Future of Learning in Canada

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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