CMEC marks International Adult Learners' Week 2012

TORONTO, March 30, 2012 — Provincial and territorial ministers of education joined with Canadians this week to mark International Adult Learners' Week (IALW 2012).

First established in 2000 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), IALW serves to raise awareness of the importance of adult learning and its integral role in the lifelong learning process.

IALW has been celebrated in Canada since 2002 under the auspices of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Events and activities are organized by a variety of stakeholders, from government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to civil society and individuals. For 2012, which marks the 10th anniversary of IALW, the commission is promoting the theme “I'm still learning,” to underscore that learning, both formal and informal, takes place throughout our lives.

“Ministers of education recognize that Canada works best when all citizens have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed,” said the Honourable Ramona Jennex, Minister of Education for Nova Scotia and current Chair of CMEC. “This means there can be no one left behind: young people, adult workers, Aboriginal Canadians, new immigrants, and those with differing abilities, all must have access to quality educational opportunities to ensure their success.”

Learn Canada 2020, CMEC's 2008 joint declaration and guiding document, recognizes adult education as one of the four pillars of lifelong learning and underscores the value of an a accessible, diversified, and integrated system of adult learning and skills development.

In its role as the collective voice of Canada's ministers of education on the international stage, CMEC is engaged with a variety of international bodies on activities related to adult education. Of particular importance to Canada in 2012 is CMEC's participation in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), an international survey measuring the foundational skills of adults between 16 and 65 years of age.

The information garnered from PIAAC will help provide a clear picture of the challenges adults face in each participating country and contribute to the development of effective policy interventions to ensure a skilled work force in the 21st century.

About CMEC

Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and international levels. For more information, visit us at

- 30 -


Colin Bailey
Director, Communications
Cell: 416-804-6548
Tel.: 416-962-8100, ext. 259