At the same time, the Fort Nelson Family Literacy Drop In Learning Centre and the Dawson Creek CALP received around $22,000 each. 

All of the funded programs help adult learners with everything from basic literacy to getting their high school diploma. Speaking in Dawson Creek, Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk maintains that adult education can be just as important as kindergarten to grade 12. 

“How else can you help your kids through school if you can read well yourself?” he asks. “So this is the skills for that adult learner to help themselves, get that better job, perhaps go back to college, but also to help their kids make do with their own homework.” 

Virk is touring Northern Lights College campuses in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge this week. He’s also taking the opportunity to stress the importance of improving high school graduation rates, especially in the Peace Region, where it can be tempting for teenagers to leave early for a job. 

“I know there’s sometimes high paying jobs available in industry right away,” he admits. “The money may be good when you’re young, but maybe when you’re 35 or 40 years old you’re going to wish you had taken a little bit more school for when you’re not as tough anymore.” 

Virk points out that more education could mean management jobs later in life when labour is no longer an option, and suggests looking at dual credit programs instead of dropping out.