Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has praised the important work of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) and its commitment to ensuring people with reading and writing difficulties have access to learning opportunities.
The Cork North Central TD was speaking after meeting today in Leinster House with John Steward, NALA’s National Adult Literacy Coordinator.
Deputy O’Brien said: “NALA provides a voice to adults wishing to improve their literacy and numeracy skills and I commend their commitment to raising standards in adult learning.
“Current government policies contain targets for raising adult literacy but as NALA points out, we also need a collective approach that ensures the implementation of a more robust plan that will ensure greater integration of literacy into further education and training. With innovative thinking and forward planning, this can be done relatively inexpensively and adult learning should be in integral part of employment training programmes.
“There also needs to be greater emphasis on improving access to adult education and training by ensuring there is enhanced awareness of what is available.
“It is important everyone is given a chance to participate fully in society and that is why organisations such as NALA need support to ensure the 25% of adults who lack adequate reading and writing skills have the chance to access education.”
“The imminent publication of the Education Training Boards Bill presents an opportunity to implement positive reforming measures however, it would be wrong if a key group should as adult learners were not represented on the board.
“This is an important aspect of the bill which we will be scrutinising whenever the legislation is published and put before the Oireachtas.”