What do the government’s newly introduced literacy standards/progressions for primary schools have to do with workforce literacy?
According to the last international survey, the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (2006), it’s a fact our education system leaves 14% of the population with such low literacy skills that they are unable to handle day-to-day literacy requirements. Whilst a good number of these people rank amongst the unemployed, a fair percentage do have jobs and struggle with increasing literacy demands in the workplace.
I am not convinced that the new standards will change that. The emphasis seems to be more upon reporting than upon remediation. Parents will be informed that their child is not performing as well as the ‘norm’ and then the onus is on parents to harass the school about this in order to get improved performance.
If the school doesn’t have increased resources to handle these demands, we will be no better off.
What a difference it would make if we relied on the good sense and the experience of the teachers and all those millions of dollars were put into the struggling remedial reading programme and into implementing dyslexia programmes in schools at all levels.