“Did you know 93% of students in Finland graduate from high school compared to 78% in Canada. That two out of three students will go on to college. Why are they successful? Student teacher ratio is 1-12 (much like community learning organizations) compared to 1-24 in Canada. Finnish students write one standardized test when they are 16, they rarely do homework, and have 75 minutes of recess a day. All teachers in Finland are required to have a Master’s Degree – most importantly Finland’s teachers are as esteemed as their doctors and lawyers. One final comment...teachers are trusted enough to do whatever it takes to help a learner achieve success.”
Imagine having that type of unwavering support. Countries like Finland and Sweden are demonstrating that they know what it takes to help children achieve success in school. Why then are we not taking closer note of what they are doing and implementing their practices in communities where dropout rates are skyrocketing.
Innovators do not recreate the same wheel, they scan the world around them and build on the success of others. Canada may be viewed as innovative when it comes to business, we are not however hitting the mark though when it comes to education. 38% of Nova Scotians are low literate meaning they do not have the basic reading, writing, math and communication skills to live in today’s world.
Community Learning Organizations struggle each year to stabilize our funding despite continually demonstrating that low literate adults can return to school in classrooms where the learner/teacher ratio is no grater that 1-12 and achieve success. Many learners will move on to higher education, apprenticeship programs or secure and retain employment for the first time in their lives.
Make adult learning a priority; make literacy a priority and not just for children. If the adult at home cannot read their children are less likely to read. Get involved, become informed, more importantly give of yourself to help others, for when you do we all win!
Yours in literacy, Lesley