Literacy: 7.70% of Drummondville’s vulnerable population

By Cassandre Baillargeon

EDUCATION. According to a study published by the Literacy Foundation, nearly 4,650 Drummondville residents aged 15 and older are in a vulnerable situation. This represents 7.70% of the urban population who would live below the poverty line and below the satisfactory level of literacy*.

The study in question, conducted by economist Pierre Langlois and titled “Overview of a high vulnerability index in several Quebec cities”, looked at the consequences of a lack of basic skills combined with a lack of income to establish a correlation effect between the two. † This effect would create a “spiral of social and economic insecurity” and the study determined the proportion of people most vulnerable to such a phenomenon.

According to the study’s vulnerability index, Drummondville would be in the red, ie in the critical threshold, as the index exceeds 7.5% of the population.

According to the economist responsible for the study, Pierre Langlois, several reasons explain this situation, including school dropout, the average age of the population and finally the location of the city. “The simple issue of literacy has spread in Quebec and in this case the cities are doing better because there are often service jobs and higher education institutions. So the results are better in the city, but if you add the issue of low incomes, it creates an urban phenomenon,” he points out, adding that all cities have their most deprived neighborhoods and that for this reason, the urban In such a calculation, the environment is more influenced by economic poverty than a more rural environment.

Economist Pierre Langlois conducted the research for the Literacy Foundation. (Photo: Courtesy)

Big consequences

The higher a city’s vulnerability rate, the more “society is unequal, the more there are problems between classes, which reduces the quality of the social fabric,” says Mr. Langlois.

The economist emphasizes the importance of taking measures to improve the situation. “This struggle to improve literacy should be seen as a twofold result. At the same time, we have results in social development, because we improve the literacy rate of individuals, but it is also an objective of economic development, because these people improve their employability and their salary expectations,” she says.

Pierre Langlois illustrates this situation with a concrete example. “It could be a minimum wage worker who has multiple jobs and who every month has trouble paying his rent, his groceries, because he is below the poverty line. It will be difficult for him to get out of this situation because the solution is to re-qualify to increase his employability and salary conditions, but if he doesn’t have the time, the peace of mind, the financial capabilities to take a time out to take, he will not succeed. Especially if he has literacy problems that prevent him from enrolling in a professional requalification program,” he says.

At the provincial level, the social and economic vulnerability index is 6%, which is equivalent to 400,000 Quebecers. The study argues that further coordinating potential tools for the population aged 20-59 by combining a basic skills requalification program with a basket-worth financial support program would leave more than 176,000 people vulnerable. According to the analyzes of the research also based on the research Literacy as a source of economic growth in 2018would inject more than $1 billion into gross domestic product on a recurring basis.

In Trois-Rivières, 7.49% of the population is at risk of the spiral of social and economic insecurity, for a total of 8,276 people. In Victoriaville and Sherbrooke, the rates are 6.72% and 7.55% for 2,354 and 9,847 persons, respectively.

*To achieve the appropriate level of literacy, you must be able to understand longer and more complex texts, which can sometimes contain contradictions.

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