Libraries won’t be used if people can’t read
There has been a great hue and cry about the Ball administration pulling funding for libraries in our province. It is good to see people concerned about reading facilities. But I find it very ironic that nowhere have I seen such concern about who would use these libraries.
We have a much more serious problem concerning reading facilities. We have a problem that is very hard to believe; a problem beyond any other that we may have.
Sixty per cent of people in this province between the ages of 16 and 65 are illiterate. They have been released from our schools as teenagers and they cannot read.
Why is this great tragedy being ignored? Our government repre- sentatives are being paid large salaries; so are our teachers. But they do nothing. Our government representatives sit in the seat of government, the House of Assembly, and clap like trained seals. Some of our teachers, by the age of 50, are complaining about being burnt out. There are countries in the world that have 100 per cent literacy rates, such as Norway, Cuba, Denmark — just to name three. We have the worst literacy rate in all of Canada. In the last 50 years we have spent hundreds of millions on education and the results are horrendous.
The solution to this problem does not require a stupid royal commission but rather a trip to Norway or Cuba to meet an educator to tell us what we must do to rid our people of a curse worse than the Great Plague.
What a weight we attach to 60 per cent of our youth to send them into the world unable to read. If there was any way to get back the moneys we have paid those tens of thousands of people responsible for this, we should demand it be repaid.
For God’s sake, do not blame the parents for this.