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NZ ranks high in literacy levels

10 Mar 2016

New Zealand is impressive when it comes to our literacy levels, according to a new international study.

The NZEI Te Riu Roa is welcoming the news, saying literacy levels need to meet the needs of the 21st century.

The World’s Most Literate Nations has ranked New Zealand among the top five literate countries in the world. The study looked at a range of literate behaviours and their supporting resources including the size and number of libraries and newspaper readership.

The report, by John W. Miller, president of the Central Connecticut State University, is far deeper in its assessment of literacy and goes beyond the usual OECD measuring of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study), the NZEI says.

“It is about levels of literacy that meet the needs of a 21st century knowledge-based society,” explains NZEI national secretary Paul Goulter.

“It is interesting to note that the study would have had very different outcomes if the PIRLS and PISA test scores were the only indices used. In that case, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China would have topped the list.”

The NZEI is an organisation made up of more than 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. It is New Zealand's largest education union.

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