07 September 2012

Literacy, Science: cornerstones of the innovation economy

Craig Alexander, senior vice-president and chief economist at TD Bank Group, reminds us that tomorrow is UNESCO's  International Literacy Day in a Globe op-ed Don’t take literacy for granted. This is important; as Alexander points out, literacy and numeracy are fundamental to productivity and prosperity. On a related note, the Globe Editorial says that we must step up our efforts in Selling science to students, in relating how Canadian students are behind our peer countries in pursuing - and even understanding - science. Science and literacy are fundamental to ensuring that we have a well educated and high functioning work force. I've noted in the past how we need a combination of STEM/nonSTEM skills, and that these form the basis for innovation literacy. It is worthwhile to pause on International Literacy Day and reflect on our need to ensure the education systems we have can truly meet the needs of the economy now and in the future. As the Globe points out, because education is a provincial issue, we don`t have a national focus that would enable us to be on par with our international peers. These topics are of relevance on any day, and not just  International Literacy Day. They are important context for the release on 27 September of the Council of Canadian Academies' report on The State of Science and Technology in Canada.

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