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Howard Government focus on literacy and numeracy pays dividends.. \n



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Media Release

HOWARD GOVERNMENT FOCUS ON LITERACY AND NUMERACY PAYS DIVIDENDS  17 April, 2002 MIN 41/02

Today’s release of the 2000 National Reading and Numeracy results for Year 3 and 5 students is a further indication that these standards are crucial to ensuring all children achieve the literacy and numeracy levels they need to make progress at school and to participate effectively at work and in today’s complex society.

Reading and numeracy standards are crucial to ensuring all children achieve the literacy and numeracy levels they need - to make progress in their schooling and to participate effectively as adults at work and in today’s complex society. This is why I welcome today’s release of the 2000 National Reading and Numeracy results for Year 3 and 5 students.

The Australian public now has a picture of how Australian children are performing in the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy. Knowing how we perform is essential if we are to improve our performance.

In 2000, Year 3 and 5 students were assessed against the national Reading Benchmarks and - for the first time - the national Numeracy Benchmarks.

In Reading the results show that in 2000, 92.5% of Year 3 students and 87.4% of Year 5 students achieved the minimum standard needed to make progress through schooling. In numeracy, 92.7% of Year 3 and 89.6% of Year 5 students achieved the national minimum standard. This represents an improvement on 1999.

With the continued commitment of all State and Territory governments, Australia can and will achieve the national goal that all children will be numerate and be able to read, write, spell and communicate at an appropriate level, understanding that for some children with severe

The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP - Media Centre

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  educational disabilities this may not be possible.

One area of particular concern to me is the results achieved by Indigenous students. We still have a situation where only 76.9% of Year 3 Indigenous students and 62% of Year 5 Indigenous students are achieving minimum reading standards. Numeracy results are similar, with 73.7% of Year 3 Indigenous students and 62.8% of Year 5 Indigenous students achieving the minimum standard.

Much more needs to be done to help all Indigenous young people achieve their full potential. We must not rest until that goal has been achieved.

The Australian community quite rightly has a keen interest in knowing whether students are reaching these critical literacy and numeracy standards. It is more than reasonable for parents to want to know whether their child has gained these essential skills. The Howard Government believes it is their right.

Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are showing a commendable lead in this area by reporting to all parents their child’s progress against these national standards. I would urge the other States and Territories to give serious thought to doing the same.

I commend all States and Territories for their tremendous ongoing effort and commitment to nationally comparable reporting of literacy and numeracy data. I urge a continuation of that effort until all students are achieving these minimum standards.

A summary of results for 2000 is attached . Further information on these literacy and numeracy results is available from the website of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs at http://www.curriculum.edu.au/mceetya/index.htm.

 

For further information:

Minister’s office:

Ross Hampton 0419 484 095

DEST: Laila Lacis 02 6240 9275

 

 

 

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The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP - Media Centre

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