Basic skills


Usually refers to some minimum competence in reading, writing and calculating (using numbers). The term is synonymous with basic learning needs.

UNESCO. Education for all: literacy for life; EFA global monitoring report, 2006. Paris: UNESCO, 2006. 

example of use

The IALS data show that qualifications and literacy/numeracy skills are positively related, but far from perfectly so. Thus, there are plenty of examples in IALS of highly-qualified people with poor literacy and numeracy skills, and individuals with few qualifi cations who nevertheless have very good basic skills. This has important implications for employers in terms of hiring individuals with the appropriate knowledge and skills, rather than simply individuals with certain qualifications (McIntosh, 2008: 35).

McIntosh, Steven. Education and employment in OECD countries. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 88. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2008.