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This Article appeared in the July 2000 Edition of 't' Magazine.

New adult skills curriculum

During Adult Learners Week, David Blunkett announced a new 20 million package targeted at adult basic skills, using resources allocated in the Budget. He also welcomed a new draft National Curriculum for Basic Skills, published for consultation today by the Basic Skills Agency. We aim to help 500,000 people a year improve their basic skills by 2002. This underlies our commitment to tackling the needs of the one in five adults who have poor literacy and numeracy.

'In concentrating on basic skills and family learning, I am acutely aware that one in three adults have little or no ICT skills. One in four people cannot check that they get the right change in a shop and one in six have no qualifications at all. 'New research, which will publish shortly, shows that adults who improve their basic skills can substantially improve their earnings and job prospects. Adult basic skills are critical to social inclusion and full employment.

"The draft National Curriculum published today follows the recommendation in the Moser Report that we need to be clear about the skills, knowledge and understanding that everyone should possess." The National Curriculum on Basic Skills is available from the Basic skills Agency distributors - 0870 600 2400 and can be found on the Basic Skills Agency web site: www.basic-skills.co.uk/

Talkback

There are some who think that our backwardness at Basic Skills is much overhyped and that international comparisons are fairly hopeless. There are also those who worry that the government's fixation with IT skills for all is potentially a backward step as the IT world is changing so fast. A focus on wider use of technology and the flexibility to use it, may be a better approach.

Copyright 't' Magazine Ltd 2000.

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