The community-based adult education programs are delivered in partnership with Okanagan College.—Image: Google Maps

Investing in adult learners across the Interior

Province funding community-based, adult literacy programs in Okanagan and Columbia-Shuswap.

The province is investing in community-based programs to help adult learners break down education barriers.

Literacy and numeracy skills will give adult learners in the Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap the ability to read a safety label, balance a household budget and work towards higher education, said Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark on Monday.

“I’m proud that our government is investing in lifting up adult learners in the Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap,” said Mark. “Literacy skills can give people the confidence to greatly improve their lives. The skills they learn will allow them to interact with their neighbours, connect with services including education, as well as thrive and succeed.”

The programs include one-on-one tutoring or small group training for adult learners. This helps ensure their education is tailored to their individual educational needs, said the ministry. The programs are provided in a variety of locations that are easily accessible for adult learners, including public school libraries, community centres and public libraries.

“Our government is working to provide services where and when British Columbians need them,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming. “Community literacy programs are provided in environments that are familiar to adult learners and where they feel more welcome. This will hopefully encourage more adult learners to access the support they need.”

The community-based programs are delivered in partnership with Okanagan College. Literacy providers and post-secondary institutions collaborate to support improved learner outcomes and encourage the transition from community programs to post-secondary studies.

“Support for community-based literacy programs is critical to the success of adult learners in our region,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “This investment will provide greater access to education for people who may not otherwise be able to improve their fundamental literacy and numeracy skills. Okanagan College is proud to be a partner in this kind of community-based education.”

Community-based adult literacy programs in Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap communities are being supported by almost $80,000 in funding in 2017-18. This funding is part of a total investment of $2.4 million in 2017-18 to support the basic literacy of adult learners in every part of the province.

The government’s support of community-based literacy programs is part of its stated commitment to connect British Columbians with the education and training they need to thrive. In August, the province made adult basic education and English language learning programs in B.C. tuition-free.

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