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More Than Just Lip-Service To Literacy Sector

30 December 2000


Associate Education Minister Lianne Dalziel tabled in Parliament today, a report that highlights problems within New Zealand's literacy sector that the previous government's policies failed to address.

The report also confirms that the Labour-Alliance government is on track to bring a much needed sense of cohesion to the sector, through a strategic vision and effective funding programme

The report, "Changing skills for a Changing World, Recommendations for Adult Literacy Policy in Aotearoa/New Zealand", written by Ian Axford Fellowship recipient Alice Johnson, was released this week.

"The report identifies three major obstacles that prevent the problem of low level literacy, from being addressed. Ms Johnson said there was a lack of strategic vision, the literacy sector was fragmented and funding was 'wholly inadequate'

"Ms Johnson's report points to the need for a comprehensive strategy that embraces community, family and vocational workplace literacy needs.

"This Labour-Alliance coalition government has already begun work to turn around the problems that are the legacy of the previous government's failure to develop policy on adult literacy.

"We have committed to the development of an Adult Literacy Strategy, which is due to be considered early next year; we are working with the sector to support collaboration and co-ordination, and yesterday I announced an additional $2 million for the adult literacy area in the year 2001.

"This funding will support a range of initiatives that focus on family, community and workplace literacy programmes, quality standards and ongoing professional development – the very areas highlighted in Ms Johnson's report.

"Unlike the previous government which merely paid lip-service to the needs of the sector, this government is developing a strategic vision while at the same time committing funding that will bring cohesion to the sector, improve access to literacy programmes and increase the availability of programmes."


Ends

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