15 Aug 2022

'We want to do better' - Harris commits €3million to improve literacy among Irish adults

'We want to do better' - Harris commits €3million to improve literacy among Irish adults

'We want to do better' - Harris commits €3million to improve literacy among Irish adults

The Minister for Further and Higher Education has committed €3million to improving literacy among adults in Ireland. 

Minister Simon Harris's commitment is part of the Adult Literacy for Life (ALL) Strategy, which aims to ensure all adults can fully engage in society and realise their potential through literary, numeracy and digital literacy. 

Speaking about the strategy, he said, "In 2022 we plan to build on and accelerate the implementation of the strategy. We know there are too many people who cannot read, who cannot write, who cannot write an email or make a bank transfer. This is not a failure of the person but a failure by the State." 

According to the minister, the large sum was allocated in Budget 2022 in order to "do better". 

He said, "This investment will enable us to establish the partnership structures and initiate focused coordination support which are critical to delivering on the targets set for adult literacy, numeracy and digital literacy." 

The strategy will include the recruitment of literacy co-ordinators, a national programme office, the establishment of a new collaboration and innovation fund, as well as the continued roll-out of the Adult Literacy Awareness campaign. 

Ireland's literacy practices across FET programmes at NFQ levels 4, 5 and 6 were recently assessed in a report, which Minister Harris welcomed. 

He said, "I would like to thanks SOLAS and ETBI for their fantastic work on this report and national guidelines. FET programmes at Levels 4-6 place many new demands on learners. These may include advanced study skills and also more complicated literacy and numeracy tasks than those needed for earlier experiences of study, or in daily life.

"These guidelines will provide practitioners with the tools to identify whether a new learner will need help with reading, writing or numeracy in order to participate successfully in their chosen programme, decide on a range of appropriate support measures and resources and monitor the learner’s progress in literacy and numeracy." 

"This will ensure that learners are not left behind and can complete their programmes successfully." 

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