Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults: Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey
The 2006 ALL survey was designed to measure the distribution of literacy and numeracy skills among the adult population of New Zealand. The ALL survey included an oversample of Pasifika adults. This design feature has allowed meaningful insights into the distribution of literacy and numeracy skills among the adult Pasifika population of New Zealand.
Author(s): Elliot Lawes, Research Division, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: August 2009
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This section is concerned with the distribution of skills by gender amongst Pasifika peoples.
Figure 2.1 shows the distribution of men and women among Pasifika peoples measured by the ALL and IALS surveys. Figures 2.2 to 2.5 show the distributions of each of prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving skill for Pasifika men and women in New Zealand. In addition, Figures 2.2 and 2.3 show the comparable statistics available from the IALS survey.
Overall, Figures 2.1 to 2.5 indicate that:
- According to the IALS and ALL surveys, there was a slight decrease in the proportion of Pasifika adults who were female.8
- For all four skill domains (prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, and problem solving skill), for both men and women, the majority (from 71 percent to 93 percent) of Pasifika adults in 2006 had level 1 or 2 skills.
- For all four skill domains, Pasifika women had slightly higher skills than Pasifika men (but see also Section 9 where this result is not always true when disaggregated by Pasifika ethnic population).
- The percentage of Pasifika men and women with level 3, 4, or 5 prose literacy appeared to decrease substantially from 1996 to 2006.9 For Pasifika men, the percentage at level 2 remained stable. For women, this percentage increased substantially.
- Changes in document literacy from 1996 to 2006 were somewhat different to those of prose literacy over the same period. The percentage of Pasifika men with level 3, 4, or 5 document literacy appeared to decrease substantially from 1996 to 2006, but for Pasifika women, there appears to have been an increase. For Pasifika men, the percentage at level 2 decreased substantially. For women, this percentage increased substantially. Again, assessment of the significance of these changes is difficult as the number of Pasifika respondents in the IALS survey was relatively small.
Figure 2.1: Gender, IALS and ALL
Figure 2.2: Prose literacy level by gender, IALS and ALL
Figure 2.3: Document literacy level by gender, IALS and ALL
Figure 2.4: Numeracy level by gender, ALL only
Figure 2.5: Problem-solving level by gender, ALL only
- The New Zealand Census records that from 1996 to 2006, the percentage of women among the Pasifika population increased from 51 percent to 52 percent.
- See Appendix Figures 2.1 to 2.6 for a description of the quality of the data. Some of the statistics concerning Pasifika peoples were of marginal quality so these apparent changes may not be as pronounced as they appear.
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