According to the OECD press release for New Zealand, we’re holding the line on literacy and numeracy. Here’s the summary:
- Adults in New Zealand score above the OECD average in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.
- New Zealand’s immigrant population is one of the most skilled across OECD countries. At the same time, native-born New Zealanders who speak English as a second language are over-represented among adults with low proficiency.
- The differences in skills proficiency related to age, gender, education and social background are less pronounced in New Zealand than in other countries. However, sharp ethnic differences, particularly for Māori and Pacific peoples, exist in New Zealand.
- In New Zealand, even more so than in other OECD countries, higher proficiency in literacy and numeracy have a positive impact on labour force participation and wages.
- The relationship between literacy and levels of trust in others, political efficacy, participation in volunteer activities and self-reported health is positive and mostly in line with those observed in other OECD countries.
What else…? Here’s the background info from the press release:
The Survey of Adult Skills, a product of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), provides a picture of adults’ proficiency in three key information-processing skills:
- literacy – the ability to understand and respond appropriately to written texts
- numeracy – the ability to use numerical and mathematical concepts
- problem solving in technology-rich environments – the capacity to access, interpret and analyse information found, transformed and communicated in digital environments.
Proficiency is described on a scale of 500 points divided into levels. Each level summarises what a person with a particular score can do. Six proficiency levels are defined for literacy and numeracy (Levels 1 through 5 plus below Level 1) and four are defined for
Six proficiency levels are defined for literacy and numeracy (Levels 1 through 5 plus below Level 1) and four are defined for problem-solving in technology-rich environments (Levels 1 through 3 plus below Level 1).
The survey also provides a wide range of information about respondents’ use of skills at work and in everyday life, their education, their linguistic and social backgrounds, their participation in adult education and training programmes and in the labour market, and other aspects of their well-being.
The Survey of Adult Skills was conducted in New Zealand from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. Some 6 177 adults aged 16-65 were surveyed.