The Manitoba government is supporting adult literacy and learning by introducing legislation that mandates a strategy and reporting on progress.

“This legislation supports adult literacy and numeracy programming that can drastically improve an individual’s quality of life,” said Advanced Education and Training Minister Renée Cable. “By supporting adults to improve their reading and writing skills, we’re helping them to build a better life here in Manitoba and participate more fully in their community and society.”

The adult literacy act establishes and sets the funding eligibility parameters for adult literacy and numeracy programming for Manitobans. The act would ensure the efficacy of literacy programs through program standards and encourage stronger literacy outcomes through a mandated strategy and reporting on outcomes, noted the minister.

“Bringing back the adult literacy act is an important first step in building the best adult education system in Canada,” said Jim Silver, professor emeritus, University of Winnipeg.

The minister noted adult literacy programs also support reconciliation with Manitoba’s Indigenous communities by helping to close the education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Many Indigenous learners have been excluded from learning opportunities due to systemic barriers and, as a result, account for a high percentage of Manitoba’s adult learners, said Cable.

Provincewide, 26 adult literacy programs supported 1,250 adult Manitobans during the 2022-23 program year, the minister said, which had decreased from 1,991 in 2016-17.

The adult literacy act supports increased flexibility for eligible service providers to offer literacy programming, said the minister.

For information about adult learning and literacy, visit edu.gov.mb.ca.