Literacy: 7.70% of Drummondville’s vulnerable population

By Cassandre Baillargeon

EDUCATION. According to a study published by the Literacy Foundation, about 4,650 Drummondville residents aged 15 and over are in a vulnerable situation. This represents 7.70% of the city’s population living below the poverty line and below the literacy rate *.

The study, conducted by economist Pierre Langlois and entitled “Overview of a high vulnerability index in several cities in Quebec,” analyzed the impacts of a lack of basic skills combined with a lack of revenue to establish an effect. of correlation between the two. This effect would create “a spiral of social and economic precariousness” and the study determined the proportion of people most vulnerable to this phenomenon.

According to the vulnerability index of the study, Drummondville would be in the red, that is, in the critical threshold as the index is higher than 7.5% of the population.

For the economist in charge of the study, Pierre Langlois, there are several reasons for 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 to Quebec, and in this case, cities do better because there are often service jobs and higher education institutions. The results are therefore better in the city, but when the issue of low incomes is added to the equation, there is an urban phenomenon that is created “, he indicates, adding that all cities have their neighborhoods more disadvantaged and that is why the urban environment is more affected by economic poverty than a more rural environment in this calculation.

Economist Pierre Langlois conducted the study for the Literacy Foundation. (Image: courtesy)

Significant impacts

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

The economist stresses the importance of taking steps to improve the situation. “This struggle to improve literacy conditions must be seen as a result that is dual. At the same time, we have results in social development, because we improve people’s literacy history, but it is also a goal of economic development, because these people improve their employability and their salary expectations, ”they say.

Pierre Langlois illustrates this situation with a concrete example. “He may be a low-wage worker who holds multiple jobs and who, every month, has difficulty paying rent, groceries, because he is below the poverty line. It is difficult for him to get out of this situation, because the solution is to reclassify himself to increase his employability and his salary conditions, but if he does not have the time, the tranquility, the economic capacities to take a break, he will do it. not succeeding. Even more so if he has literacy problems that do not allow him to enroll in a professional retraining program, ”he says.

At the provincial level, the social and economic vulnerability index is 6%, which represents 400,000 Quebecers. The study argues that by further coordinating possible tools for the 20-59 age group by combining a basic skills reclassification program with a financial support program worth the market basket, more than 176,000 people would leave. vulnerability. According to the analysis of the study is also based on the study Literacy as a source of economic growth in 2018more than a billion dollars will be recurrently injected into the gross domestic product.

In Trois-Rivières, 7.49% of the population is at risk of suffering the spiral of social and economic precariousness 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 people, respectively.

* To overcome the satisfactory level of literacy, one must be able to understand longer and more complex texts, which can sometimes contain contradictions.

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