Education: a growing divide between Montreal and the regions

Education: a growing divide between Montreal and the regions

A gap between Greater Montreal and other Quebec regions would continue to widen in terms of education and literacy, a study by the Literacy Foundation reported Thursday.

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“The proportion of people without a degree has hit a low of 15% in Montreal, while it is twice as high in several Regional County Municipalities (MRC),” the study by economist Pierre Langlois found.

However, across the province, Quebecers’ overall literacy levels would have improved between 2016 and 2021, the study shows.

The percentage of Quebec’s population over the age of 15 not achieving Level 3 literacy, i.e. the ability to understand and interpret the meaning of longer and denser texts, would then have fallen from 55.5% in 2011 to 53% a year 2016 to reach 51.6% in 2021.

A growing rift

But according to his data, between 2016 and 2021, the Montreal metro area would have seen a 1.9% improvement in the proportion of the population not reaching Stage 3.

The difference between metro Montreal and Quebec, which was 4.8% in 2016, would have increased to 5.3% in 2021.

“Several regions are catching up at a slower pace than expected and are clearly not sufficient to keep up with the progress of Montreal and its suburbs,” the Literacy Foundation said in its press release.

According to the study, this gap can be explained in particular by labor shortages, which lead to “earlier entry into the labor market”, as well as the aging of the population in the regions, which limits growth in the profile of several regions.

At the same time, the greater Montreal area would benefit from the presence of universities as well as the arrival of specialized immigrants.

“It is important to switch to solution mode. Our main goal […] it always remains to better understand the problem so that society can better respond to it, thereby making it possible to make Quebec a highly literate society,” added André Huberdeau, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fondation pour l’ Literacy.