Results from the Latest Education and Training Monitor
Adult learning is central to achieving educational equality, empowering adults to achieve their educational aspirations with beneficial impacts on family thus improving educational opportunities for future generations. Community education is key to engaging the most educationally disadvantaged.
The report also shows that highly skilled individuals with a lifelong learning participation rate of 9% are over three times more likely to engage in lifelong leaning than people low in basic skills (2.5%), however the beneficial impact of adult learning for the latter cohort is far greater (BeLL, 2014).
CEN10 Conference: Sustaining Community Education
AONTAS' upcoming conference on community education, 29th November, offers an ideal opportunity to further explore the role of community education in tackling inequality, contributing to social cohesion and transforming individuals, communities and families.
Ireland has a strong tradition of community education provision, something that has been recognised by our European neighbours. Recently AONTAS presented to a delegation from Denmark, who noted the innovative approaches that community education offers in engaging and retaining learners to support successful transitions to further education or employment. Our members from the Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN) were guest speakers at a conference in Slovenia, where they presented their innovative work in a disadvantaged area of Limerick - with the lowest participation rate in higher education in Ireland. They highlighted how a whole family, intergenerational approach to tackling educational inequality is having real sustainable impact in improving lifelong learning participation rates and access to further and higher education.
As a recognised model of excellence in education provision at European level, community education offers a valuable, home-grown innovative approach to tackling educational disadvantage and poor lifelong learning participation rates. The Education and Training Monitor Report notes ‘there is a need for alternative’ to inequalities in access. Community education offers that valuable alternative.
Register for CEN 10
Join us on the 29th November in Croke Park Dublin where we will highlight community education as a vehicle to widening participation for those most disadvantaged. The conference will also provide a platform to raise the profile of community education and strengthen the understanding at policy level of the wider benefits of community education with a view to ensuring sustainability for the sector.