This Sunday is International Literacy Day, an opportunity to recognize the efforts of our Education workers who help eliminate existing barriers to literacy.
This year’s theme of International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Multilingualism” to highlight the importance of linguistic diversity in education.
The Ford government announced it would invest 26 million dollars in the 2019-20 school year, along with four million dollars annually for French language education in Ontario. However, it doesn’t make up for the government’s cancelled plans for a French language university in Ontario.
In keeping with the theme of linguistic diversity in education, the U.N. is marking International Literacy Day in solidarity with the International Year of Indigenous Languages. But the Ford government is clearly not on board.
In December, the government slashed the Indigenous Culture Fund by nearly half. The Indigenous Culture Fund is a response to a call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, which calls on provinces to develop culturally appropriate education programs.
According to the non-profit group First Book Canada, one-quarter of Canadian households don’t have a single book in them. When children have limited or no access to books, their literacy skills and educational opportunities suffer and that jeopardizes their future job and economic prospects.
It’s easy to take literacy for granted, but we must remember that even in a country as rich as Canada people can still face barriers to achieving high levels of literacy.
We thank our Education workers for all the work they do to help our kids.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer