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International Accolade For Kiwi Literacy Programme

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Top International Accolade For Kiwi Literacy Programme

A New Zealand adult literacy programme has won a prestigious international honour from the United Nations.

Literacy Aoteroa Inc's "honourable mention" in UNESCO'S King Sejong Literacy Prize makes it one of only ten adult literacy programmes in the world recognised by the Award this year.

Associate Education Minster the Hon. Lianne Dalziel will present a medal and certificate to representatives of Literacy Aotearoa Inc today Tuesday 5 September during a ceremony to mark UN Week for Adult Learners.

Each year UNESCO awards prizes to institutions or individuals for achieving special success in the fight against illiteracy. Literacy Aotearoa Inc's programme has been commended "for being respectful of Maori knowledge and cultural values".

In the last ten years Literacy Aotearoa Inc has changed its structure and focus to better serve Maori needs and values. As a result the number of Maori students is six times higher than it was ten years ago. There has also been a marked increase in the number of women and young people accessing the service. Close to ten thousand New Zealanders are now enrolled with the organisation.

The focus is on making learning to read and write an accessible goal that can be achieved in the student's own community. Literacy Aotearoa Inc. provides mainly voluntary tutors from 63 member groups around the country. They provide one to one or group learning in English and Te Reo Maori.

The adult literacy movement began in New Zealand nearly thirty years ago in response to the learning needs of adults with reading difficulties. Groups were established and worked separately until 1982 when Literacy Aotearoa (formerly Adult Reading and Learning Association, ARLA) was established.

Despite successes both here and overseas over the last ten years, illiteracy remains a huge problem worldwide. There are still one billion adult illiterates - two thirds of them women.

Presentation of Award in Wellington

The Minister with responsibility for Adult Education, the Hon Lianne Dalziel will present the award. Media are invited to attend.

Date: Tuesday 5 September 2000

Time: 4.00 for 4.30 pm

Venue: NRC, Ground Floor, 192 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington. Afternoon tea will be provided.

Case Study

If you would like to find a literacy success story to personalise this media release, please contact Literacy Aotearoa: Ph (09) 307 0400 and ask for Bronwyn Yates or Peter Isaac Or phone Bronwyn Yates on 021 826 622 or Peter Isaac on 021 669 917

For further information, please contact: Mary Klaver, NZ National Commission for UNESCO, Ph: (04) 499-1004 or Literacy Aotearoa as above under case study

Adult Students `Yearn to Learn'

The efforts and achievements of older learners, educators and their providers are being celebrated during the United Nations Week for Adult Learners. (September 3-9)

New Zealand joins 31 other nations to highlight the central role of adult learning in our society.

International Literacy Day on September 8th is part of the week and the motto for the Week in New Zealand this year is "Yearn to Learn"

The aim is to promote the rich variety of adult learning opportunities throughout New Zealand.

These may involve anything from basic literacy, to the learning of English by new immigrants, to gardening or cooking.

Throughout the country, the Adult and Community Education Association will be making awards and giving commendation certificates to outstanding adult learners, educators and providers nominated by their communities.

Although thousands of New Zealanders are already involved in adult and community education, the ACEA hopes Adult Learners Week will make more people aware of both the fun and importance of lifelong learning.

The week will be officially launched on Tuesday 5 September when the Associate Minister for Education the Hon. Lianne Dalziel presents two national awards for contributions to adult education as well as a prestigious international literacy award to Literacy Aotearoa.

For details of awards in your area, please contact your local Adult and Community Education Association or Dorothy McGray , Waitakere WEA Ph 09 837 1471(w)

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