INDEPENDENT NEWS

Adult Literacy - New Zealand's Dark Secret

Published: Wed 8 Sep 1999 04:32 PM
ACT Education spokesperson Donna Awatere Huata today said she supported Education Minister Nick Smith's plans to develop a comprehensive Adult Literacy Strategy.
Speaking on International Literacy Day, Mrs Huata said adult literacy in New Zealand remained a serious issue.
"New Zealand's poor performance in the last worldwide survey on adult literacy revealed that nearly half of New Zealand adults could only handle the simplest printed material. This has to be New Zealand's darkest, best kept secret."
"The results also showed that state education has not worked for the poorer members of our society."
Mrs Huata said the results highlighted the lack of a national assessment programme in schools during the past 20 years.
"The poor reading ability of these adults was not identified early enough. We must ensure that monitoring these basic skills becomes a top priority in New Zealand's education system," said Mrs Huata.
ENDS

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