Content created with the help of 
The Chaire en littératie médiatique multimodale from UQAM

What is illiteracy?

Illiteracy is the inability to read and understand simple text and to use or transmit written information in everyday life.1 The presence of these difficulties hinders integration into society2. There are many underlying causes to illiteracy, such as children with little education.

Literacy education: its opposite and the solution

Literacy education is an essential tool to ensure that people are adequately prepared for the job market and that each citizen has the conditions needed to thrive.

Literacy education is critical in order to create conditions that favour a flourishing economy and healthy democracy. It is essential to break the cycle of under-education and illiteracy in Quebec by making substantial investments to promote reading within families, particularly those who live in disadvantaged areas.

The risks of under-education

If nothing is done, 1 in 5 children may become illiterate.

This fact translates into an unacceptable loss of human capital for our society. We must act now!

Illiteracy in Quebec: other data

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a large international survey conducted by the OECD. Its results, which were released in 2013 along with other research conducted at the provincial level, tell us the following:

Nearly 1 in 2 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds do not finish high school.

Quebec ranks 10th among Canadian provinces and territories in terms of written comprehension.

In Quebec, 1 in 5 people have major difficulties in understanding and using written text.

Sources :

1 & 2CDEACF. «Dossier spécial Peica» [ ], 2021