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New Funding For Adult Literacy Programmes

The Government is putting an additional $2 million into adult literacy for the calendar year 2001, Associate Education Minister Lianne Dalziel announced today.

Speaking at the close of the two-day National Literacy Hui in Wellington, Lianne Dalziel spoke of the importance to establish and sustain a sense of direction and purpose in the literacy area. There was also a need to effectively resource and co-ordinate all the components of the system that are to deliver the results needed.

"We need to have focus on literacy in the home, in the community and in the workplace. I am therefore pleased to be able to announce that the Government has made some decisions that will see an additional $2 million go into the adult literacy area.

"Most of that money ($1.5million) will be focussed on workplace literacy programmes and the need to increase professional development training in the field and the development of quality assurance around the delivery of adult literacy programmes."

Lianne Dalziel said that $600,000 will be focused on Maori and Pacific literacy programmes, and $160,000 focussed on literacy initiatives for those whose first language is not English. In addition $25,000 has been set aside to resource the Hui, and initiatives to come out of it.

Lianne Dalziel said the funding put on track some of the issues that needed to be addressed within an adult literacy strategy, which is still being developed.

"We need to make it easier to access learning, so that we can identify those windows of opportunity where we can hook people into literacy programmes, in workplaces; for those who are unemployed and actively seeking work; community based provision; family literacy programmes and programmes that link to other tertiary level education.

"It is also important to monitor and evaluate the strategy so that progress towards improving literacy can be measured and to address the stigma that is attached to poor literacy."


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