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Re-Focused Night Classes To Get PD Support From Ace

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Re-Focused Night Classes To Get PD Support From Ace

ACE Aotearoa welcomes the opportunity to help build the capability of the schools selected to provide adult education within the government's new priorities says Co Chair of ACE Aotearoa, Analiese Robertson.

The Tertiary Education Commission has announced that the government will fund opportunities for over 25,000 adults to improve their writing, reading and maths through schools from early next year. Courses will be available throughout the country, particularly in regions where the need is seen to be the greatest. While the areas to be targeted have been decided, the government is still finalising the list of schools which will be funded. It is expected that classes will include topics such as 'Maths for household budgeting', 'Helping your child to read' and 'English for non-English speakers'. Special courses in New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo will also be included in many locations, including at marae.

ACE Aotearoa, which is the lead agency for the Adult and Community Education Sector has a contract with the Tertiary Education Commission to deliver professional development to ACE providers. In 2009 over 50 groups from a wide range of community learning organisations received professional development grants.

Hannah Pia Baral, Acting Manger of ACE Aotearoa says that they will be working at two levels to support the schools funded to meet the government's new priorities and criteria. They will be setting up systems to gather information on the impact of the changes so that generic learning needs can be met, and at the same time responding to the specific professional development proposals put forward by individual schools.

ACE Aotearoa is committed to supporting the schools in their provision of literacy, numeracy and language skills. "We know that it will be a challenge to find ways of reaching learners and engaging them in the learning process," says Hannah Pia Baral. "But our sector is very skilled in working with communities and adapting to change. We will be working hard to find examples of good practice, so that our providers can learn from each other."

At the same time co chair of ACE Aotearoa, Analiese Robertson stresses that the sector is concerned that funding cuts have reduced the number of school-based adult learning opportunities from 200,000 to 25,000. "Our goal over the next few years is to not only help improve adult literacy, language and numeracy, but also to rebuild the learning opportunities for adults who want to engage in lifelong learning. We know that the opportunity to enrol in a huge variety of courses can achieve much more than improved literacy, numeracy and language. It gets people hooked on learning, and it has other impacts including improved mental and physical health, reduced domestic violence, increased awareness and acceptance of different cultures and ethnicities, and greater involvement by families in their community. It is fundamental to a healthy society. We know that the government is facing tough economic times, but we will be arguing that the small investment in adult learning is well worth it."

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