Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Minister's message / International Literacy Day (08/09/05)

NB 1271

Sept. 5, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message was issued today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty, in recognition of International Literacy Day, Sept. 8.

International Literacy Day is marked every Sept. 8 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to inform people worldwide on the status of adult literacy, and to empower them to improve literacy levels. This year's theme is: Literacy is the best remedy. It is a stark reminder that our level of literacy can influence not only our career choices and confidence, but also our health and well-being.

From reading the label on a prescription bottle to gathering information about nutrition, treatments and infectious diseases, literacy plays an underrated yet vital role in maintaining our quality of life. Nowhere is this more evident than in underdeveloped countries where a person with a low literacy level is less likely to seek information or medical attention for illness.

But low literacy levels are a worldwide challenge, and New Brunswick is not immune to its effects. For this reason, we made a commitment to improve literacy rates in our province in the Charter for Change. The integrated Community Adult Learning Network (CALNet) is our primary vehicle for providing services to adult learners, from computer and literacy training to our emerging Workplace Essential Skills program.

Earlier this year, I was pleased to sign the $68-million Labour Market Agreement with the federal government. The funding through this agreement will be used to partner with employers to dramatically improve the adult literacy rate of New Brunswick's workforce. We are working to make a difference in the lives of New Brunswickers so that they can be successful in their workplaces and their communities.

I would like to salute the volunteers throughout the province, as well as private sector partners and non-governmental organizations, who work diligently each and every day to bring enhanced learning opportunities to many New Brunswickers.

The value of literacy skills is immeasurable. On this International Literacy Day, please take the time to consider the value of literacy in your life and what you can do to share its importance with others.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Be informed about adult literacy services in your community by calling 1-877-444-0510, toll-free. MEDIA CONTACT: Elaine Bell, communications, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2568.