The sense of skills

March 17, 2000

Help is at hand for anyone who cannot tell the difference between basic and key skills.

The Basic Skills Agency and Further Education Development Agency today launch a programme to end the confusion. A table explains: "It is a mistaken argument to see the basic skills as the 'skills' and key skills as their 'application'. The new basic skills standards specify the application of skills. It is not possible to develop, for example, comprehension without the application of skills." We also learn that basic skills are "the ability to read, write and speak in English and use mathematics at a level necessary to function at work and in society in general", while key skills are those "needed to succeed in work, education and everyday life". Which type of skill is most useful in understanding the explanation is not clear.

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