Painfully agreeing with Gove
The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Gove spoke about the importance of good literacy and numeracy skills for all young people at the British Chambers of Commerce yesterday.
And I cannot believe I am typing this but I agree with Gove. I particularly agree with the importance he places on illiteracy and innumeracy in England, comparing it to the need for clean water in developing countries.
The ability to speak good English and be proficient in maths is a key tool:
->in enabling social mobility;
-> in helping thousands out of poverty and low incomes;
-> in allowing millions to contribute to society not just economically but socially- be apart of their local community and build relationships;
-> empowerment, building confidence and allowing individuals to articulate themselves particularly individuals who are victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
However, we cannot afford ( not just economically but in terms of equality too) to think that learning literally and numeracy skills is achieved solely in the class room. There are non-formal educational activities where adults and young people can learn and improve their skills, for instance being apart of a sports team or Girl Guides.
Additionally, adults and long-life learning are missing from this speech. There are thousands of adults who are no longer able to learn English in their local communities via ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) because of central government funding cuts. This negatively impacts on migrants communities and women. I therefore challenge the next British Government to reinstate funding for high-quality ESOL services, to acknowledge and appreciate other methods of teaching numeracy and literacy in order to achieve better literacy and numeracy results nationally.