Minister Sean Connick launches both the VEC and WIT, Adult Literacy Strategic Plans
Minister Sean Connick launched two very valuable and timely publications in Faithlegg House Hotel, Waterford this week – the Adult Literacy (CWVEC) Strategic Plan, 2010-2012 and the Literacy Development Centre (WIT) Adult Literacy Strategy, 2010-2015.
Speaking at the launch the Minister complimented the City of Waterford VECs, Adult Literacy Service for its development since the White Paper on Adult Education, ‘Learning for Life’ was published in 2000. He noted that the service had a 384% increase in participation rates between 1999 and 2009 and that this strategy was vital following the recommendations of the 2009 research piece ‘A Snapshot of Adult Literacy in Waterford City’ which was also commissioned by the City of Waterford. He recognised that education is a lifelong pursuit and that all adults have a right to learn and to have access to programmes that make it possible for them to acquire these basic skills.
Seamus Hempenstall (Department of Education and Skills) reiterated this, in his recognition that these programmes are making important contributions to individuals’ sense of self worth and confidence and that they are making a significant difference to learners capacity to contribute within the family, at work and in the community.
The Minister also recognised the importance the Literacy Development Centre in WIT in the provision of accreditation to teachers working in the area of adult literacy. This partnership is a collaboration between WIT and the National Adult Literacy Agency and both Helen Murphy (WIT) and Inez Bailey (NALA) recognise that the main aim of the strategy is to address key issues and concerns from the national context for this area of adult education.
Joann Power, Adult Literacy Organiser was absolutely delighted with the number of organisations who participated on the day from public sector organisation, community groups and many more. She outlined the ‘decade of transformation’ with regard to the development of the service in the city and also how the strategy ‘The Next Steps’ will make important changes ensuring the continued expansion of provision. The plan sets out what the objectives and activities are for the following years, 2010 – 2012. Joann, in conjunction with her staff who organised the conference summed up the importance of it in the creation of awareness across the city and stated that she was confident that these changes would strengthen the existing service which is responsive to change’.
The highlight of the day ,was undoubtly, Eddie Halligan, a student in the Adult Education Centre in Railway Square who received a standing ovation for his inspiring contribution. Eddie had worked all his life in Waterford Crystal and has returned to education and is certainly enjoying the experience now.
Gerard Morgan (Acting CEO, CWVEC) commended his strength of character and courage in sharing his past experiences of school to an audience so great. Gerard also acknowledged the importance of working in partnership and strengthening linkages and emphasised the importance of the ‘Adult Literacy Task Force for Literacy ‘in the City. He expressed his appreciation especially to the staff who were involved in the organisation of the conference and to the students who participated in both Emma Greene’s research on the benefits of accessing the service and Martina English’s research on ‘ICT and Literacy’.
Inez Bailey, Director of NALA ,outlined that the nationwide advertising campaign in conjunction with An Post is attracting adults back into education regardless of their age or past experience in education. She recognised the importance of adult literacy awareness training in the form of conferences and applauded the City of Waterford VEC on this. Margaret Cleere (FAS) outlined a collaborative approach to providing literacy to community employment participants in the city in conjunction with the VEC and its benefits while Maggie Feeley (UCD) provided a very informative analysis of literacy through the lens of equality.
Michael Kirwan, Adult Education Officer with the City of Waterford VEC outlined the work of the Adult Education Advisory Committee and their commitment to research. He also acknowledged the huge level of commitment of the staff and the learners in the Adult Literacy Service.
‘Keep focused on your goal’ says Waterford's Munster Champion
Waterford's Munster Champion, John Mullane along with Mary Roche, Lady Mayor strongly encouraged adults to take the first step in Returning to Education in the City of Waterford VEC Centre in Railway Square today. The ‘Take the First Step’ campaign has been very successful in attracting adults who have missed out on their education for various reasons. Numbers attending the service have increased by over 340% over the last number of years and Mayor Mary Roche noted that ‘it is a valuable service to have within our city’.
Joann Power (City of Waterford VEC) stated that ‘it is our hope to create awareness of the educational opportunities that are available to all and work with many groups and individuals throughout the academic year both on-site and on an outreach basis. She highlighted the ways in which the Adult Education Service can better address this critical need within our city and is currently involved in creating a strategic two year plan which will increase collaboration and partnerships across agencies and break down barriers to participation.
Willie Hearne and Connie Maguire who are students of the Adult Education Centre are delighted to be returning to their courses later on this month and noted that it was the friendly and relaxed environment as well as the small group tuition that attracted and retained them for another year. John Mullane gave great motivational tips and reiterated the benefits of keeping ‘focused on the goal’ in life.
For further information with regard to classes and courses, contact Joann Power on 051-854444.
Friday 19th February - City of Waterford VEC supports The Adult Learners Festival
The Fourth Annual Nationwide Adult Learners Festival was launched locally by Gerard Morgan, the CEO/A of the City of Waterford VEC at the Adult Education Centre in Railway Square. This festival which takes place from February 22nd to 26th was developed in association with Aontas , The National Adult Learning Organisation. This awareness drive will see adult learners across the country celebrating achievements and showcasing their work.
Speaking at the launch today, Gerard Morgan (CEO/A) stated that the City of Waterford VEC were delighted to be involved with this campaign. Numbers of adult learners accessing courses provided and funded by the VEC have increased dramatically within centres and throughout the community. We welcome the continued commitment to adult learning at a time when many people are being made redundant or are vulnerable in their jobs . Adult Education certainly has a unique part to play in assisting people to develop new skills.
Joann Power (Adult Literacy Organiser) with the City of Waterford VEC stated that “Our hope is to create awareness of the opportunities that are available to all, while emphasising the importance of lifelong learning. She notes the increase in confidence in the learners that access the Adult Education Centre in Railway Square and recognises that ambitions and talents which can sometimes be overwhelmed by fear, reveal themselves and skills once thought of beyond reach, grow and develop. There are a myriad of activities organised in the centre throughout the week and include learner development days, competitions (including photography and poetry) and seminars.
The Adult Education Service is running a series of events throughout the city to celebrate the work and achievements of the learners. For full details please log on to www.adulteducationservice.ie or www.waterfordvec.ie.
City of Waterford VEC celebrates the Aontas Adult Learners Festival
22nd-26th February 2010
The Adult Education Service is running a series of events over the week of the Festival. These events will celebrate the work already being done in the VEC Adult Education Service, particularly in the areas of Adult Literacy, BTEI, Community Education, and English Language students.
We will be celebrating our work with a wide variety of Communities, Groups and Organisations; from a local CDP to Computers for Unemployed, from Child Care to Active Retirement Organisations. We will be celebrating Green Learning with our Horticultural Group and Social Learning through computers ( Facebook, Twitter etc).
We will be celebrating through photography, art, poetry and literature and just about every other means available.
The Adult Education Service will be in attendance at the Employment, Training and Education Fair in City Square Shopping Centre Waterford on Friday 30th & Saturday 31st October 2009.
IN response to the recent redundancies in Waterford City, County and the South East Region, FÁS South East and the European Employment Service (EURES) will host a Regional and European Employment, Training & Education Fair in City Square Shopping Centre, Water-ford on October Friday and Saturday next.
Individuals who are interested in exploring job opportunities and the living and working conditions in EU/EEA (European Economic Area) countries are encouraged to attend. Amongst the European countries whose representatives will attend are: Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
EURES advisers from these countries will be available to advise visitors about employment and career development options, together with Irish based companies who have job opportunities in the region.
Career and Life skills course delivered by the AEC Ozanam Street featured in this weeks Waterford News & Star.
The Adult Education Service FETAC Certificate Presentation night took place on Dooley's Hotel Waterford. Almost 200 students from the Adult Learning Scheme, Back To Education Initiative, Community Education, English Language programmes received FETAC certificates in a variety of subject areas.
Enrollment for English Language Classes is now complete for this term. Further enrollments will not take place until January 2010.
Friday 18th September 2009
City of Waterford VEC launches research paper "Adult Literacy Provision in Waterford City" - A Snapshoot. Click Here to Download
Minister for Lifelong Learning, Sean Haughey launched both a unique and important piece of research entitled “Adult Literacy in Waterford City – A Snapshot” on Friday 18th September 2009.
Speaking at the launch the Minister complimented the City of Waterford VECs, Adult Literacy Service for its development since the White Paper on Adult Education, ‘Learning for Life’ was published in 2000. He noted the substantial increase in numbers from approximately one hundred in 1999 to over seven hundred currently per year. He recognised that education is a lifelong pursuit and that all adults have a right to learn and to have access to programmes that make it possible for them to acquire these basic skills.
Joann Power, Adult Literacy Organiser noted the pertinence of conducting this piece of research in view of Ireland’s changing labour market needs. She stated that “the VEC have been very concerned with regard to that 25% who lack the basic skills to participate successfully in the workplace and that the high incidence of low literacy skills represents subscribed economic and social costs.” She also stressed the continued need to develop creative and flexible learning that attracts learners and encourages them to improve.
Dolores Gilhooley who conducted the research to map existing provision outlined that the main provider of dedicated adult literacy services in the city is through the City of Waterford VECs Adult Literacy Service. The research recognises the importance of partnerships and linkages created to ensure provision, support or referral for the target group. This referral network includes FAS, An Post, City Council, Library Service, employers, schools, the disability sector, traveller and community education projects, the guidance service as well as Waterford Institute of Technoloogy and the National Adult Literacy Agency. The research does show the need to increase and strengthen these linkages and develop new modes of targeting potential learners. Dolores expressed her appreciation especially to the individual learners, staff and management within the VEC as well as all who participated in focus groups for their help and assistance in conducting this research.
Inez Bailey, Director of NALA outlined the nationwide direct marketing campaign in conjunction with An Post that will see thousands of homes in Waterford receive information leaflets about the VECs Adult Literacy Service as part of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week. They will also hold a number of high level, roundtable meetings with policymakers, highlighting what adult literacy means for wider social and economic development in Ireland.