Ministers of Education Mark International Literacy Day

TORONTO, September 8, 2012 – Provincial and territorial education ministers are joining today with governments, business and labour, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals from around the world to celebrate International Literacy Day (ILD).


ILD was established in 1965 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to highlight the fundamental value of literacy and promote greater literacy around the world.


UNESCO has chosen the theme “Literacy and Peace” for ILD 2012 to underscore the role that literacy can play in resolving conflict and promoting civic engagement and social harmony.


“Ministers of education are pleased to add their voice to the global call for greater literacy for all peoples,” said the Honourable Ramona Jennex, Chair of CMEC and Minister of Education for Nova Scotia. “We recognize that literacy is a one of the pillars of an open and democratic, economically strong, and socially inclusive society.”


Provinces and territories continue their efforts on literacy through a wide range of programs and initiatives adapted to meet the varied needs of their respective populations. This flexible approach — a hallmark of Canada's education systems — ensures that government resources are used to maximum effect and successes are shared among provinces and territories and on the international stage.


Canadians can learn more about literacy in Canada by visiting


Literacy also remains an integral part of the work of CMEC and is addressed in a variety of programs and activities, including education data and learning assessment, international engagement, and early childhood education.


Of particular note is CMEC's participation, in partnership with the federal government, in OECD's flagship assessment of adult skills and learning, the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). PIAAC will provide Canadians with one of the most complete portraits ever of adult skills in Canada, including literacy, and will inform policy development for years to come. The first results from PIAAC will be released in fall 2013.



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 and contributes to the exercise of the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces and territories over education. For more information, visit us at


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Colin Bailey
Director, Communications
Cell: 416-929-6970
Tel.: 416-962-8100, ext. 259