Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland to launch National Adult Literacy Awareness Week 2015

17 Sep 2015

On Monday 21 September, Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland will deliver a keynote address marking the launch of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week 2015 at an event in Dublin.

The event is a public seminar called, ‘Learning and life chances: promoting equality through basic education’. The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) is organising this event to raise awareness of the social and economic benefits of helping people with low or no qualifications access education.

At this event, Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland and Patron of NALA, will provide the keynote speech about how we can work together to create a more ethical and inclusive society.

This will be followed by a number of speakers who will discuss how education affects the individual, the family, the community and the economy. They include: John Sweeney, Researcher; Aine Lynch, CEO, National Parents Council; Owen Metcalfe, Institute of Public Health, and Inez Bailey, Director, NALA.
Date:  Monday 21 September 2015
Time: 10.30 am – 1 pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin 2


Why is this event important? 
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.

In the last OECD survey it was estimated that one in six Irish adults has problems with even the simplest literacy task such as reading instructions on a bottle of aspirin. One in four people find it difficult to do simple maths

In Ireland, adults without a qualification are less likely to benefit from state training and education programmes than those with a third level qualification.

As low skilled jobs become less available, people without a qualification are at the greatest risk of unemployment and already form the greatest group who are unemployed. Individuals who do not have a basic education also have poorer health and in general lower life expectancy and life chances.

The aim of NALA’s event is to highlight the benefits of helping people with poor literacy and numeracy skills access adult education, to create a more inclusive society.

For more information see www.nala.ie or register here.  


For media queries please contact:

Clare McNally, PRO, National Adult Literacy Agency. Call 01 4127909, 087 6486292 or email media@nala.ie


About National Adult Literacy Awareness Week

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).

The End