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The facts

According to The International Adult Literacy Survey, one in four Irish adults (25pc) have literacy difficulties. This compares with just 3pc in Sweden.

• Nearly 30pc of the workforce has only a Junior Certificate qualification or less, while 10pc only rely on a primary school education.

• Literacy difficulties in general affect:

-- Those whose ability to learn suffered from poor hearing, vision or speech problems.

-- Those with undiagnosed learning disabilities.

-- Those living in socially deprived areas with a lack of access to education.

-- Those who could not access free secondary education until it became available in 1967.

• The National Adult Literacy Agency provides both confidential one-on-one study and class learning environments throughout the country.

For more information call the National Adult Literacy Agency on 1800 20 20 65 or visit www.nala.ie.

Irish Independent