How much money has the TEC invested in the literacy and numeracy infrastructure…?


It’s a lot of money… I just changed my original title as I don’t have a good reference for the exact amount. Let’s just say it might have 9 figures.

That’s how invested the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is in the infrastructure that we now have for literacy and numeracy in New Zealand. That infrastructure now includes:

  • the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy
  • the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool
  • Pathways Awarua

Keep in mind the following:

  • the TEC’s Assessment Tool is a massively scalable automated assessment machine generating massive amounts of data on learners literacy and numeracy abilities.
  • And Pathways Awarua, is a massively scalable and automated delivery platform.

Software is going to eat education. And it’s going to do that mainly via massively scalable and mostly automated processes that will get increasingly cheap to run.

But… we’re still going to need skilled human tutors (middle management is another story). At least for another 20 years.

So I would also argue that this infrastructure also means having specific adult literacy and numeracy education qualifications including for trades and vocational trainers, as well as for specialists. This includes:

  • NCALNE (Voc)
  • NCALNE (Ed)
  • DipALNE

And that $120 million dollar investment probably means these things are not going to go away any time soon.

So if you’re still wondering about whether you should have a go at trying to get your head around the Learning Progressions, or whether there is any value in the Assessment Tool, or whether you should upskill yourself or your staff in these areas then it’s time to stop wondering.

What action will you take…?

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

2 thoughts

  1. In 2006/2005 (can’t remember exactly) I received my shinny new Learning Progression Draft book. The literacy and numeracy experts around me fought it hard. In fact nobody even wanted to use it. This was fueled by fear, insecurity and an impending changing of the guard from ‘practice-based’ authority, to evidence-based authority.

    I made it my mission to know more about that draft than any person alive. It was clear that it was here to stay. As you have noted, the Assessment Tool, Pathways etc have continued to cement its existence in the sector. The rise in these resources is intertwined with current and existing funding.

    I hope people understand this next statement. The only way to remove the Learning Progressions and associated resources from NZ L&N is to undo all literacy and numeracy funding. They now live or die together.

    So efforts to remove the infrastructure is an effort to remove the current system. Last time it took 30 years…

    I completely agree with you.

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