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. Through our Community Education Network (est 2007), we act as a voice for community education, advocating on issues such as highlighting the need for: a sustainable funding model; continued provision of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) accredited programmes; and non-accredited learning. In our latest blog Advocacy Lead Ben Hendriksen outlines a collective achievement in gaining recognition of community education in the national political conversation.
AONTAS CEO Niamh O'Reilly recently participated at the Romanian EU Presidency Conference in Bucharest which focused on plans for Adult Upskilling and Reskilling. These initiatives across Europe come under the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL), for which AONTAS is the national coordinator in Ireland, and specifically the Upskilling Pathways Recommendation. In our latest blog, she reflects on the conference and shares an update on current EU approaches and debates around sustainable funding for adult learning.
Over 70 AONTAS members came together at our 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin on the 22nd May 2019. Taking place in AONTAS’s fiftieth year, the 2019 AGM was an exciting event, presenting an opportunity for members to reflect on the history of the organisation, to celebrate our collective achievements over the past fifty years, and look to the future as we launched our new Strategic Plan 2019-2022: A Vision for Educational Equality.
AONTAS has engaged with EU candidates, and assisted our members to engage local candidates across the country, in order to make them all aware of the importance of adult and community education. Our latest blog outlines some of the ways that we have been supporting our members to engage with candidates in the lead-up to election day on Friday, 24th May.
As the National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) AONTAS provides a free Information Referral Service, One Step Up (OSU). Since its establishment in 2013 it has supported tens of thousands of people in Ireland to find out about their education and training options. AONTAS CEO Niamh O'Reilly recently shared insight into the One Step Up service at a conference in Croatia. In our latest blog she reflects on how OSU can be used as a model for other countries to replicate for increasing lifelong learning participation across Europe.
Last week AONTAS EU Projects Officer Deárbhail Lawless and Advocacy Lead Ben Hendriksen travelled to Bratislava, Slovakia to participate in the kickoff meeting of a new European project that AONTAS is supporting as a project partner. The project, titled BLUESS (Blueprint for Basic Skills Development in Slovakia), supports basic skills policy development in Slovakia and our participation at this event allowed us to meet project colleagues and present at a conference on the topic of basic skills provision in Ireland.
During the first week of April, AONTAS EU Projects Officer, Dearbháil Lawless and Communications Lead, Katie O’Rourke travelled to Luxembourg to attend an Awareness Raising and Guidance Peer Learning Activity (PLA) with two adult learners, Maria O’Reilly of Warrenmount Community Education Centre and Louise Finnegan from One Family.
AONTAS CEO, Niamh O’Reilly, was delighted to be asked onto the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk for the ‘Ask the Expert’ slot (18/3/19). The opportunity to discuss the vast range of adult learning options on the St. Patrick’s Bank Holiday Monday offered an ideal platform to encourage adults back into learning and point them in the right direction.
AONTAS provides a free Information Referral Service called One Step Up that supports thousands of people in Ireland every year to find out about education and training options available to them. The One Step Up website is also home an Events Calendar, where we promote open days and information sessions hosted by Education and Training Boards, further education and training colleges, community centres, third level institutes and other learning centres all over the country.
As part of the ‘Increasing Pathways, Increasing Participation’ 2017 – 2019 project for the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL), AONTAS provides a free Information Referral Service called One Step Up that supports thousands of people every year to find out about their education and training options.
Taking the first step back into learning after a break from formal education can be daunting, but it comes with many benefits. If you’re thinking of returning to education, January is the perfect time to find out about learning opportunities in your local area, with open days and information sessions happening at further education colleges, community centres and learning institutes all over the country.