Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Literacy in Decline

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Literacy in Decline

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick Williams

CAN you read and write?

An alarming number of Australians can't.

Last year more than 200 adults on the Sunshine Coast who had trouble reading or writing sought help through a free literacy course run by council, and the numbers are expected to rise this year.

The Adult Literacy Program, run through various Sunshine Coast libraries, has seen numbers swell over the past few years.

Adult literacy co-ordinator Mignon Fanton said it was a scary fact.

aThe numbers are rising. It is worrying,a she said.

The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey conducted in 2006 found that approximately seven million (46%) Australians aged 15 to 74 were beneath a literacy skill level defined in the report as aminimum required for individuals to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work in the emerging knowledge-based economy.a

aSome have missed out in school and others are those who left school early to go into manual labour and they find they don't have these skills for a new venture,a Ms Fanton said. …

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