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Literacy results great concern

Literacy results great concern, make it a top priority

A ranking of second worst among English speaking countries for our kids’ reading ability is of grave concern, Progressive MP Matt Robson said.

A Massey University survey has put New Zealand behind the Czech Republic, Hungary and Lithuania.

“Literacy is the most important component of a high-skill, high-value economy that delivers jobs and prosperity for all citizens. It must be made a top priority for government.

“Literacy is also crucial to safer communities. Nearly half of all inmates in prison have reading difficulties. If you are anti-crime, you have to be pro-education.

"We can be pleased that a proportion of our students are among the top 10% of students internationally but far too many are being left behind in the reading race.

"There is good work going on in pilot programs helping children in low income families to read. Better resources are also beginning to be provided to teachers in some areas. These programs need to be extended urgently to all those who need it.

"If we want more literate kids then we need enough teachers. The current teacher shortage needs to be a top priority. We need to try new ideas to keep teachers and the Education Minister's work to recruit and retain more teachers deserves support.

"The Progressives are pushing for literacy to be made a top priority and for pilot programs to be extended to all children in need around the country. Literacy is essential for the social and economic wellbeing of New Zealanders," said Matt Robson MP.

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