Literacy and numeracy in Ireland
One in six Irish adults has problems reading. Even more have difficulty doing basic math. People with low literacy levels are more likely to be unemployed, to report poor health and to believe that they have little impact on political processes. This has devastating consequences for people, families, communities and the economy.
People often ask why we still have a literacy problem in Ireland? Why hasn’t it improved? Research is at the heart of answering these questions and providing real solutions.
For 40 years NALA has been at the forefront of using research to provide evidence-based solutions to the adult literacy issue and to inform our policy proposals and advice to organisations.
Low literacy creates an obstacle to a fair, equal society and undermines our economic competitiveness. We work in partnership with government departments, organisations, tutors and learners to advance adult literacy policy. This work is supported by evidence-based research which examines international best practice, reviews Irish policy and produces recommendations to meet the needs of people with literacy difficulties.
Adult literacy students guide and inform our work. Adult literacy learning is most successful when students are actively involved in the process. We ensure the views and experiences of adults with literacy and numeracy difficulties are heard by policy makers. We do this through having a Student Subcommittee, gathering student views at events and ensuring student advocacy is a key element in our strategic plans. We also offer a Student Fund that is available for student groups to fund learning activities outside the classroom.