News Manitoba

Celebrating adult learners

Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby and Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Christine Melnick visited the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development today to celebrate International Adult Learners' Week and the achievements of adult learners.

"Adult learning gives people the knowledge and skills needed to take control of their destinies," said Selby. "The Province of Manitoba is committed to providing Manitobans with opportunities to obtain meaningful employment and improve the quality of their lives through its support of adult literacy and adult learning-centre programming."

Earlier this month, Selby, Melnick and Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson jointly proclaimed March 24 to April 1 International Adult Learners' Week in Manitoba.

International Adult Learners' Week was launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2000 to raise awareness of the importance of lifelong learning. It has been celebrated in Canada since 2002. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, together with its partners, identified International Adult Learners' Week as a priority project to foster joint action by a broad network and raise the profile of adult learning throughout Canada.

Each year, nearly 12,000 adults attend programming at Manitoba adult-learning centres and adultliteracy programs, which provide Manitobans the chance to get their high-school equivalency and upgrade courses.

"Adult learning has wider implications for the lives of individuals, families and society," said Melnick. "When adults expand their skills and competencies through education, they are better equipped to join the labour force. The result is increased productivity and economic growth in Manitoba."

Manitoba's Adult Literacy Act, the first of its kind in Canada, came into effect in January 2009. The act required the development of a provincial strategy, which now provides direction on increasing adult-literacy levels in the province.