Launch of 'I'm an Adult Learner 2016'
A new book celebrating the diverse paths taken by adult learners in Ireland has been released by AONTAS. The book, entitled ‘I’m an Adult Learner 2016’, features the personal stories and portraits of 25 adult learners. From Sharon who did a personal development course through a community education centre and progressed to third level, to John who returned to learning following redundancy and recently achieved a National Diploma despite suffering a heart attack during his studies; the learners’ stories will inspire others to begin their own journey back to education.
Speaking at the launch, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS said: “For somebody who may have been out of formal education for a long time, or who had negative educational experiences in the past, it can be a hugely daunting step to return to education. The stories in this book are essential to promote the benefits of adult learning and to highlight the way in which adult learning can transform the lives of ordinary people. Nothing is more powerful than a real learner sharing their story.
Read more here.
Harnessing the Power of a Story
On 8th November 2016, AONTAS welcomed almost 100 participants to Croke Park for ‘Harnessing the Power of a Story’. The event aimed to demonstrate the power of the learner story and how it can be shared through traditional and digital media to reach broad audiences. The event, jointly hosted by AONTAS, the National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) and EPALE Ireland, Léargas, included keynote speakers, Bryan Dobson, broadcast journalist, RTE and Senator Lynn Ruane.
Bryan Dobson shared important insights into story-telling and Senator Lynn Ruane told her own story of returning to education as an early school leaver. The event, which trended on Twitter, was attended by an enthusiastic audience who put a series of questions to the panellists. Participants also took part in a range of workshops from Blogging and Online Writing to Social Media.
Read more here.
AONTAS Pre-Budget Submission Calls for Investment in Community Education
AONTAS has called for an investment in community education in our Pre-Budget Submission 2017. AONTAS has long argued that community education has a proven track record in effectively engaging the most educationally disadvantaged learners and providing quality educational experiences that meets their needs.
We are requesting that this Government prioritise educationally disadvantaged adult learners by committing to the following:
A sequential increase in investment for community education by increasing the percentage of SOLAS funding for community education programmes from 1.6% to 3.2; Ring-fenced funding for community education providers who wish to offer accredited programmes by re-engaging with QQI and, A waiver of QQI re-engagement and programme validation fees for community education providers.
Read a full copy of our Pre-Budget Submission 2017 here.