The TJ has a good editorial today talking about the link between literacy and job creation. This is an important – vital issue to the economic and social development of the province.
But, and I think this is an important but….
Someone wrote in a comment on the editorial and said the literacy rate was as low today as it was 30 years ago and took a shot at the NBTA.
I would be curious to see if the education system is really to blame.
We know there is a strong coorelation between out-migration and education levels. I did some research into this a couple of years ago and with the exception of the Alberta Fort McMurray boom – overwhelmingly people who leave tend to be more educated than those who stay in New Brunswick (on average).
So if you were to do a full census of everyone who has graduated from New Brunswick high schools and universities over the past 50 years, would the literacy rate among that full group be well below the national average? Maybe – but my hunch would be – based on the data we have on this – that this would not be the case.
Illiteracy is an impediment to mobility.
We have got to keep our eye on the ball here. Let’s hammer away at the literacy problem but at the same time let’s make sure our economy is keeping and attracting skilled and literate people. That is a sure way in the longer term to beat down the illiteracy rate in this province.