Education Ministers Release “Learn Canada 2020”

by NationTalk on April 15, 20081516 Views

Toronto, April 15, 2008

A bold new vision for learning in Canada was released today by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), to address the education needs and aspirations of Canadians. The statement comes on the second day of CMEC’s innovative Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum, which is being held in nine different locations across the country.“Learn Canada 2020” is a framework document that serves as the centrepiece of the new CMEC,” said the Honourable Kelly Lamrock, Chair of CMEC and Minister of Education for New Brunswick. “We recently celebrated our 40th anniversary, and what better way to reflect on years past and plan for the future than with a collective statement of our responsibilities in education and our goals for the coming decade.”

The joint ministerial statement underscores provincial and territorial responsibility for the four pillars of lifelong learning — early childhood learning and development, elementary and secondary schooling, postsecondary education, and adult learning and skills development — and proposes working collaboratively with key partners and stakeholders to ensure that all Canadians benefit from the strength and diversity of provincial and territorial education systems.

“We are committed, each in our own jurisdiction and collectively through CMEC, to ensuring that Canada leads the world in learning,” said Raymond Théberge, Director General of CMEC. “Learn Canada 2020 provides us with a shared vision that can be realized according to the unique needs and situation of each province and territory.”

Along with the four overarching goals for education in Canada, ministers have identified eight activity areas on which they will focus collaboratively through their intergovernmental organization:

– Literacy
– Aboriginal education
– Postsecondary capacity
– Education for sustainable development
– International and national representation
– Official languages
– Learning assessment programs and performance indicators
– Education data and research strategy

Some of these activities have long been part of the work of CMEC. For example, it is through CMEC that provinces and territories

– negotiate with the federal government on major funding to support official languages in education
– speak for Canada internationally on issues related to education
– develop and participate in major student assessment tools at both the national and international levels

Other activities like literacy, Aboriginal education, and postsecondary capacity have been identified more recently by ministers as needing priority collective action.

Ministers plan to keep Canadians informed of their collective and individual progress on Learn Canada 2020 on an annual basis.

CMEC is an intergovernmental body composed of the ministers responsible for elementary-secondary and advanced education from the provinces and territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern. Learn more about CMEC by visiting

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Chris George
Tel.: (289) 241-4095

Colin Bailey
Tel: (416) 962-8100, ext. 259

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