Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands spoke to Irish politicians about literacy today

23 Sep 2015

Today Wednesday 23 September, Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands met Irish politicians for a briefing in Leinster House, Dublin.

The early morning briefing was on the topic of literacy and was organised by Senator Jillian van Turnhoutas part of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week.

HRH Princess Laurentienhas been committed to literacy for years, based on the conviction that literacy is a basic human right and a precondition for a healthy, strong and durable society.  HRH Princess Laurentien is the UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Developmentand chaired the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Literacy. The Princess is meeting Irish politicians to discuss the need for a pan-European approach to improving literacy levels in Europe.

About National Adult Literacy Awareness Week

National Adult Literacy Awareness Week will be promoted nationwide from Monday 21 to Friday 25 of September.  The aim of the week is to raise awareness about the literacy issue in Ireland and to promote the free courses available to people who want to improve their reading, writing and maths skills.

Most adults with low literacy skills can read something but find it hard to understand official forms and instructions or deal with technology. Some will have left school confident about their numeracy and reading skills but find that changes in their workplace and everyday life make their skills inadequate.

 “Sometimes people are very worried about returning to education and hide their difficulties with reading and writing from their friends and family. However, this does not have to be the case and we would encourage anyone to call us on 1800 20 20 65 to find out about all the learning options available to them,” says Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency.

National Adult Literacy Awareness Week is held every year in September to raise awareness of tuition options nationally and highlight the benefits of improving reading, writing and maths skills. It includes awareness raising events in many local adult literacy centres, a national advertising campaign sponsored by An Post and a stand at the National Ploughing Championships in Stradbally, County Laois.

Currently there are 50,000 people attending literacy and numeracy courses nationwide.  These courses are provided by local Education and Training Boards (ETBs – formerly known as your VEC).

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