TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - Ministers of education joined this week with Canadians to celebrate International Adult Learners' Week (IALW 2011).

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 wealth of stakeholders, from government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to civil society and individuals. For 2011, the commission has placed particular attention on access, participation, and inclusion in adult learning programs to meet the needs of all learners.

"Canada's social and economic future lies in the continued educational growth of its citizens," said Andrew Parkin, Director General of CMEC. "Whether it is learning a new language, improving our literacy, or acquiring the skills needed for a new career, adult learning offers us the chance to grow as individuals and in doing so create positive change in our homes, communities, and country."

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 preparation for the Sixth Annual Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI) which was held in Belém, Brazil, in December 2009, CMEC produced an overview of provincial and territorial adult education approaches, The Development and State of the Art of Adult Learning and Education (ALE), which underscores the active role of Canadian education systems in providing lifelong learning opportunities.

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 fulfillment of the constitutional responsibility for education conferred on the provinces and territories. For more information, visit us at

SOURCE Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

For further information:


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

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Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

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