Tuesday, 24 February 2009

How important are the three Rs?

We have seen many conflicting reports over the past few years about the standard of literacy and numeracy in our primary and secondary schools.

The latest report from Cambridge University suggests that too much emphasis on testing the basics, such as English and maths, could ‘impoverish’ learning in other areas. Yet without these basic skills, our school leavers will not have the communication skills needed to find a job and compete with their counterparts in the EU.

Our founder, Chrissie Maher, had this to say about the importance of the three Rs.

“I can’t emphasise the need for the three Rs enough. I didn’t learn to read and write until I was 14 and it was like living in a foreign land. Simple things like getting the right bus and finding the right street were a nightmare. Getting a job seemed almost impossible.

“Now, as an employer, I value the need for teaching the basics at an early age, as those skills stay with you for life.

“The literacy and numeracy hour has improved the situation in the last few years, but we certainly don’t want to do anything to make the situation worse.

“I would love to hear from children, and their parents, about their views. Are we doing enough to make sure our children can communicate clearly or should we allow for a more balanced education?”