Literacy study highlights gaps in reading education

NDP Education Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) says a newly-released literacy study shines the spotlight on areas in which government needs to improve. While the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study shows students in this province perform at the Canadian average, it also says quite clearly that there is a measureable gender gap in reading abilities.

“A new literacy study shows that the gap between the reading achievement of boys and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador is the largest in Canada,” said Kirby in the House of Assembly today. “As a result, fewer boys than girls are completing high school academic programs and more of them are dropping out.

“Why has the Minister failed to help teachers and parents close the gap between boys' and girls' reading performance?”

Kirby also decried the minister’s attempt to blame parents for the lack of reading children do outside school hours.

“Students in this province are less likely than others in Canada to read when they are outside of school,” he said. “While public libraries are critical to improving family literacy, we have fewer libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador compared to the 1990s.

“Why is government failing to invest in new public libraries, when they are such a crucial resource for families with young children?”

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