A government commissioned survey in England has underlined the severe lack of basic math and English skills among adults in the country by concluding that more than 16 million adults have math skills equivalent a child aged nine to 11.
The recent Skills for Life survey conducted numerical and literary tests among 7,200 adults aged between 16 to 65 years of age and found that more than 24 percent would struggle to count up to 1,000 while many were unable to do simple math that would have helped them work out their change in a supermarket.
The number has gone up from 21 percent when the government conducted a similar test back in 2003. Apart from the lack of basic math skills, the survey also found that over 15 percent of the adults had reading and writing skills equal to that of a 11 year old, though the number has come marginally down from 16 percent in 2003.
"Put simply, around one in six of the adult population has difficulty with aspects of reading and writing which means they are seriously disadvantaged as employees, citizens and parents. And around one in four of the adult population struggle with the basics of numeracy, a skill which can have a greater impact on life chances than literacy", the director for research and development at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (Niace), Carol Taylor said.