Lagging literacy levels are a looming problem

The ability to read, write, communicate and comprehend a piece of text is crucial for success, no matter what walk of life you're following. Despite this, key literacy skills remain an area where Australia not only lags behind many of its international peers but worryingly seems to be trending in the wrong direction.

NAPLAN online training

Earlier this year a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) painted a grim scene, revealing one in five Australian adults possess 'low' literacy skills.

“More than one in five Australians can at most complete very simple reading or mathematical tasks, such as reading brief texts on familiar topics or understanding basic percentages,” the report stated.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are just as bleak, revealing 43 per cent of Australians aged between 15 and 60 have low literacy competency.

Add to this the downward trend in reading levels for Year 10 students identified by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth’s (ARACY) 2018 Report Card and it seems clear that this education system is missing a trick somewhere.

In an opinion piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald today, Spectrum Tuition founder Thy Pham put this down to underlying issues in the education system, in part due to a lack of teacher support.

“This decline could be due to the fragmented Australian education system, where the onus is largely on individual teachers to design and set the program for their students,” Pham said.

“Without more standardised resources to work with, teachers are often burdened with the task of reinventing the wheel each year, developing lessons, marking work and tending to the emotional wellbeing of students.”

While it’s hard to pinpoint a cause, LiteracyPlanet endeavours to serve as a cure for the symptom, providing a comprehensive, relevant resource to help Australian teachers improve key literacy areas.

To learn more about how LiteracyPlanet’s comprehensive program can help improve outcomes at your school, click here.