Monday, 27 June, 2016

Remembrance and Re-imagining at the AONTAS AGM

BL5Q7888The AONTAS Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday 11th May in Dublin. The event focussed on exploring common policy issues with allies across the education field. AONTAS marked the historical year by showcasing some learner projects that commemorated the 1916 Rising, including RADE's ‘Personal Responses to the 1916 Rising’ Exhibition and a short presentation and video from Kildare and Wicklow ETB's ‘Remembrance and Rebellion’ project. Liz Waters, AONTAS President opened the event where she spoke about the central values of AONTAS’ work; "At the heart of everything we do are the learners". Niamh O’Reilly, CEO presented her vision for the organisation in her two year plan emphasising the importance of membership engagement in all aspects of our work, whilst outlining the key areas of work in 2015 outlined in the AONTAS Annual Report 2015. Stephen O’Brien from UCC provided a thought provoking input on the current discourse and focus of education in Ireland which was followed by a lively discussion.

AONTAS were delighted to have Liz Waters and Colm Kilgallon re-elected as President and Hon. Treasurer of the AONTAS Executive. The Board also welcomed a new Vice-President, Jim Prior (LCEN), Honorary Secretary, Tara Farrell (Longford Women’s Link) and organisational member, Mary Stokes representing the Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland. 

AONTAS launches European Project Report

BL5Q4905AONTAS launched their European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) project report at a European Policy Impact Seminar on 28th April 2016. The seminar took place in the Clock Tower building at the Department of Education and Skills, with AONTAS hosting a delegation from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). AONTAS has served as Ireland’s National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) since 2014 and the project has included various activities that aim to highlight the need to increase participation in adult learning of all kinds (formal, non-formal and informal learning) to acquire new work skills, for active citizenship, or for personal development.  

The European Impact Seminar provided an opportunity for a broad range of stakeholders to come together and discuss the impact of European Policy and to explore how AONTAS can support their members to engage in future European policy and projects. To  access a copy of the EAAL project report click here.

Adult Learners have their say on the Further Education and Training Service

BL5Q4284For the first time, a formal structure exists through which adult learners in Ireland can influence the policy decisions that affect them. That’s according to AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, which held the first meeting of the new National Adult Learners Forum at the Mansion House, Dublin on 26th February 2016. 

The Government committed to the establishment of a forum for adult learners in the Further Education and Training Strategy, published by SOLAS in 2014, this commitment came to fruition when 80 learners from across Ireland met to discuss their achievements and challenges in further education. The learners in attendance were nominated to join the forum by their local adult education groups, and included representatives from community education, the Youthreach programme, the Back to Education Initiative and the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme.

Read more here