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Minister Harris launches public consultation on 10-year Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Strategy

November 13, 2020

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD has today announced a public consultation on a new 10-year Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Strategy.

Minister Harris secured Government approval to task SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, with the development of the strategy and report back within six months.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “We need to hear from you on the development of this strategy. Whether you are someone who struggles with reading, writing, maths or digital literacy, whether you know someone who does, whether you are a media organisation, or a public or private sector body, we need your views.

“In Ireland 1 in 5 adults in Ireland struggle with reading everyday text, such as leaflets or medicine instructions, 1 in 4 adults in Ireland struggle with using numbers, for example, using basic arithmetic for daily tasks such as adding up a grocery bill and 1 in 2 adults struggle with digital skills.

For many adults, this can be debilitating. It can prevent access to employment or education. Or it can be a barrier to the everyday tasks such as helping children with their homework or reading your prescriptions.

“We need to ensure we do everything we can to assist and improve those skills for people. To build an inclusive Ireland we must ensure services are accessible for everyone, whether that be through assisted digital innovations or access, support and information in your local area. We must develop innovative and creative ways to reach and support adults with unmet literacy, numeracy and digital literacy need and that is why I am launching this consultation process today.

I would encourage everyone to have their say and to reach out to those around us and help them to share their views as well.”

Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS, said: “Literacy and numeracy has long been a cornerstone of Further Education and Training (FET). The FET system already has a range of supports in this area with the new FET Strategy: Transforming Learning setting out a framework for further development. SOLAS is therefore delighted to be tasked with developing a 10-Year Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Strategy for Ireland. There are many challenges and opportunities in addressing adult literacy, numeracy and digital literacy needs, such as adequate information services and supports, inclusiveness and accessibility but we are determined to help create an environment where everyone can get the skills necessary to participate fully in society. By taking a whole of Government approach, adult literacy, numeracy and digital literacy for everyday life will be emphasised and supported across all spheres of activity over the period of the Strategy and beyond. We would like to hear your views on the key actions you think are required to build this new strategy. The consultation process is now open and we hope you can share your views with us.”

In the Programme for Government ‘Our Shared Future’, there is a commitment to develop a 10-year strategy for adult literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

The strategy will take a whole-of-Government approach and provide a framework to support individuals to improve their literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

The consultation begins today, 13th November and ends on 31st December.  The consultation can be found here: https://www.solas.ie/alnd-strategy/

Have your say

If you would like to have your say on the 10-year Strategy for Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy we would love to hear from you.

Call Helen Ryan NALA Policy Officer on 01 412 7919 to find out more.

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