Saturday 21 October 2017

Literacy survey makes for a disturbing read

In a year when the State is spending €8.514bn on education, the results of the OECD Adult Skills Survey have to be a grave disappointment to many. Of course this survey is not based on a given year, but a snapshot of the entire population. But in a country which prides itself on its verbal and literary prowess and as an attractive location for employers looking for a well-educated workforce, it cannot make comfortable reading for parents, teachers or Government.

Like all statistical reports, the OECD survey is open to various interpretations, but the bottom line is the disturbing finding that in a survey of 6,000 people aged from 16 to 65, Irish adults performed significantly below average for literacy, numeracy and ability to use technology to solve problems and accomplish tasks.

While we have been traditionally good at producing top-class writers and talkers, this survey shows one in six Irish adults are at or below Level 1 on a five-level literacy scale, a level at which they may be unable to understand basic written information.

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