Australia's education crisis: One in five adults are unable to read or do math

Australia's education crisis: One in five adults are unable to read or do math
Australia's education crisis: One in five adults are unable to read or do math
Australia's education crisis laid bare with shocking data showing one in five adults are unable to read or do math - as experts warn it will only get WORSE

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Australia needs a national plan on reading, writing and numeracy for adults because learning at school is no longer enough, educators have told a federal inquiry.

The inquiry heard shame and embarrassment were also barriers to learning and people need to be reassured they are not alone.

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One in five Australians, or around three million adults, have low literacy and/or numeracy scores, federal parliament's employment, education and training committee heard on Monday. 

The educators and community workers called for a national plan to stop Australia from falling behind the rest of the developed world.

One in five Australians, or around three million adults, have low literacy and/or numeracy scores,

One in five Australians, or around three million adults, have low literacy and/or numeracy scores,

Language and literacy education expert Joseph Lo Bianco called for co-ordination, standard-setting and innovation from the Commonwealth.

'Adult literacy is no longer a welfare activity by good-hearted people,' Professor Bianco said.

'That's not enough.'

He said Australia was facing a historic moment as other nations adjusted to technology.

'We have to keep in mind artificial intelligence which, combined with cyber systems, is going to require much higher levels of comprehension and functioning than we've ever had.'

People who are adequate on reading and writing often nosedive in performance when numbers and charts

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