Issues with the Lack of Adult Education Programs in Canada

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The topic of education is nevertheless a subject of great importance, shifting the attention toward postsecondary education and the challenging problems it faces in Canada. With our growing demographics, rapid economical changes, and more developed advances, the upsurge of low-skilled populations has a detrimental economical impact, and overall societal nature.

According to Statistics Canada, there is an increase in our national populations of aged individuals, in contrast, a decrease in fertility rates (Canada 2017). Through the declining rates of fertility, we must value postsecondary adult education, and emphasize on increasing the rates of participation. Although access to education, should be a basic human right, it is nonetheless inaccessible to individuals within a certain population. Lifelong learning has been outlined as a concept in which those who already have high levels of education are receiving more education and training.

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This ideology of the ‘rich-getting-richer’ needs to change; in that children who from high income, and highly educated parents are more likely to be the ones who attend higher levels of education. Myers and de Broucker (2006) outline important research in their article Too Many Left Behind: Canada's Adult Education and Training System. It establishes progressive outcomes of implementing literacy programs, and developing basic skills of employees, to increase the economical profits of society. By doing so, we are ultimately reaping the benefits as a community, by seeing better health benefits, reduction in waste production, and the increase in employee knowledge retention. These learned characteristics spread throughout one’s environment, making it a more developed and advanced workplace (Myers & de Broucker, 2006, p. 54).

Let us draw our attention to the main topic of discussion, which is the focus of barriers and gaps, and their detrimental impact on learners. Doing so, we will be using the following tools of analysis: to compare and to contrast. According to Webster’s dictionary, the term compare is defined as sharing similarities, and the term contrast is defined as the appraisal of differences (Webster, 2017). Individual, structural, and institutional barriers have comparable characteristics to those of generated gaps, causing less-educated individuals to be less served by their system.

The text outlines these gaps, including the lack of information, limited financial aid, and insufficient government investments (Myers & de Broucker, 2006, p. 69). Barriers including their race, age, as well as their long duration of being unemployed may affect those who participate in “second chance” post secondary learning. It comes to no surprise that for both genders, participation in these programs decreases with age. Those who range between the ages of 25 and 34 are the ones who are likely to participate (Myers & de Broucker, 2006, p. 35).

Older, or more mature students are often referred to as “second chance” participants, suggesting that they didn’t do it right in the beginning. There are fundamental benefits of receiving an education, so why are we placing barriers on individuals, imposing on their ability to learn? We need our society to be more educated and more skilful, by implementing the benefits of these programs, and motivating them to participate. Due to age-based financial aid, pressures are placed on adult learners to be financially stable, while attempting to receive a higher level of education. This can place major dependency on their personal life. Younger learners have more access to Canada’s financial assistance programs. In contrast, other developed countries have programs all education to be free. Due to these financial barriers and gaps, Canadian participation is lacking.

Job-related training programs have low participation rates in Canada, when compared to other countries. One of the problems that Canada faces is the fact that the economy is surrounded by small to medium sized businesses, thereby not having the financial means to support and implement learning training programs (Myers & de Broucker, 2006, p. 72). Due to Canada not having the economical financial scales to support their employees, we see an increase in less-skilful mature-aged populations. The absence of lifelong learning in contemporary Canada, and access to adult education programs limits the access to job opportunities. Thus, an increase of unemployment rates causes a cost-effective impairment to our society– more specifically, to the livelihood of the individual.

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