Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil focus on adult literacy

April 22, 2020

We are delighted to announce that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have prioritised adult literacy, digital and numeracy skills in their plans to recover and rebuild Ireland after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January and February NALA and its members worked hard on our pre-election campaign calling on all political parties to prioritise adults with unmet literacy, numeracy and digital skills needs. Following this five political parties committed to support adult literacy and plain English in their manifestos.

Since then there has been a standstill, first in the formation of a government and then in March we were hit with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

COVID-19 has taken us all by surprise and we are being inundated with information every day from many sources. Many people have felt overwhelmed by the volume of information, however for the one in six adults with literacy and numeracy needs in Ireland, it is an especially difficult time.

Now more than ever we need to support people with unmet literacy, numeracy and digital skills needs at home, in work and in the community.


On 15 April Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael published a draft document ‘to facilitate negotiations with other parties on a plan to recover, rebuild and renew Ireland after the COVID-19 emergency.’

We welcome the inclusion of adult literacy under the Education and Research section (page 17) of the document. It commits to:

“Ensure that no adult is left behind, with a strong emphasis on adult literacy, digital and numeracy skills.”


The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the essential role of strong adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills. Currently one in six adults (521,000 aged between 16 and 64) will struggle with:

  • reading and understanding health information and messaging;
  • supporting their children’s learning at home;
  • using smartphones and technology to communicate with family and friends;
  • accessing public services online; and
  • adapting to changes in the workplace.

You can read the draft document on the Irish Times website here.


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