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AONTAS Update...

15 June 2010 Issue Number 38 Welcome Welcome to the AONTAS Update! The AONTAS Update is a weekly resource designed to keep members informed about current lifelong learning issues as well as what’s happening in AONTAS! Please let us know what you think of the bulletin by taking a short survey here.

Weekly Survey Do you think enough progress has been made on the implementation of the National Skills Strategy? Click here to let us know.

May was a busy month for AONTAS with the Annual General Meeting, Community Education Network and Senior Learner Network meeting all taking place. This week why not discover what happened at the meetings by reading the CEN report here or the SLN report here. The Update will be e-mailed to members every Tuesday afternoon. If you have difficulty viewing the Update in your e-mail window, download as a PDF by clicking here. Members are very welcome to contribute and if you have anything for inclusion, please e-mail it to Eleonora Peruffo ( by 5pm on Monday afternoon.


Adult Education News Politics


Events Publications & Websites Press Release

Each week, we will include a short poll / survey in the AONTAS Update. This is just one opportunity for members to let us know your opinions on the current issues!


AONTAS News AONTAS Membership



Information Referral Service Education & Training Opportunities

ADULT EDUCATION NEWS Maths should be compulsory CAO points subject – report A report by an expert group has said that maths should be compulsory for CAO points purposes. It wants colleges to examine a new plan where maths must be among the six Leaving Cert subjects used by students to calculate their CAO points in order to stop students viewing maths as a spare subject. One of its key recommendations is for a “second chance’’ exam in the autumn for students who sit higher-level maths in the Leaving Cert but fail to meet college entry requirements. (Irish Times, 8th June 2010) College places facing the axe as budget cuts bite Several college presidents have warned that students hoping to attend university may face higher CAO points because of looming "unsustainable" budget cuts. They said that any further cuts in their funding will force them to reduce the places they have on offer, thereby increasing the points needed for entry, entire programmes being closed and even forced redundancies. The presidents have requested a meeting with the Tanaiste to discuss the funding crisis. (Irish Independent, 6th June 2010) University funding crisis to hit new students hard The new student class of 2010 face packed lecture halls when they get to university, fewer tutorials, reductions in library facilities and the introduction of waiting lists for counselling services. Currently frontline teaching and support structures are being hit by the funding crisis with the Irish Universities Association warning that specific courses will have to be axed and says the Government's national research strategy for the 'Smart Economy' is in danger of collapsing. (Irish Independent, 9th June 2010) Girls break gender barriers A study carried out by the EU into gender equality in education has found that Ireland is among the top three countries for policies to break down the traditional stereotyping of school subjects and careers. Irish girls are at the top for breaking through gender barriers in education except in engineering and manufacturing with just 16% of those in third – level engineering and manufacturing being girls. (Irish Examiner, 8th June 2010) Maynooth chief set to move on Professor John Hughes is to leave his job as president of National University of Ireland Maynooth in September after being picked as vice chancellor of Bangor University in Wales. (Irish Examiner, 12th June 2010)



Oireachtas Committee Meeting – Wednesday, 16 June 2010 at 14:00 The Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs will meet in Committee Room 4, Leinster House 2000 • •

Alleviating poverty, social exclusion and inequality [Ms Elva O'Callaghan, National Co-ordinator, National Collective of Community-based Women's Networks]

Watch online at

****** Seanad Private Members Business on the National Skills Strategy – Wednesday, 2 June 2010 at 5pm Fianna Fail Group on the National Skills Strategy "That Seanad Éireann commends the Government • • •

for its commitment to lifelong learning and upskilling for implementing policies in support of activation and training, skills development and lifelong learning and for the significant progress it has made in meeting the objectives set out in the National Skills Strategy.

To read the full transcript from the debate, please click here or find out what AONTAS has to say here

****** February 2010 - Adult Education: A Current Diagnosis & Measures for Recovery As part of the Adult Learners' Festival 2010, Lobby for Learning Day AONTAS invited education spokespeople together with the Minister for Lifelong Learning Sean Haughey to hear firsthand about a service that is overstretched and struggling to cope with the current demand from adults for education and training. At "The Adult Education Clinic" Minister for Lifelong Learning, Sean Haughey, along with Green Party TD Paul Gogarty, Fine Gael TD Brian Hayes, and Cllr Aodhan O Riordain from the Labour Party re-created the format of a constituency clinic in order to hear from providers on the ground, as well as adult learners accessing the services. Adult Education: A Current Diagnosis & Measures for Recovery, a short paper illustrating the current demand for adult education and three measures for recovery, was launched at the event.


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Press Release

Launch of the TEACH Report National Association of Travellers’ Centres (NATC) & the Directors’ Association of STTC Network will launch the TEACH Report “Traveller Adults and Education: Crisis, Challenge and Change” by Niamh Hourigan and Maria Campbell on Wednesday June 23rd at 2.30pm.Venue: Buswells Hotel, Kildare Street, Dublin. All Welcome! ****** Community Radio Conference 2010 Community Radio stations are not-for-profit, representative, accountable & provide a social benefit to the communities they serve and empower. Community Radio is open to all, encourages participation, lifelong learning, and reflects diversity. On June 18th, explore one of Irelands good news stories. Speakers include Eamon Ryan T.D, Minister for Communications, Steve Buckley, President of AMARC, (the worldwide network of Community Radio stations) Michael O'Keeffe CEO of the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland), Deirdre Garvey, CEO of the Wheel, Bob Collins (tbc) Chair of the BAI, Anne O'Brien NUI Maynooth, Kevin Moran from Pobal, along with case studies from Aontas, NCBI and many more. Community Radio stations Employment in the sector has doubled in the last 18 months and by the end of 2010 the number of licensed stations will also have doubled since 2004. Community radio provides nationwide FETAC accredited training opportunities in communications, IT skills and community building. Community stations act as learning sites where individuals of all backgrounds can develop both confidence and competence. Registration is FREE if booked by June 15th (with holding deposit)/ €30 on day. See http://www.craol.iefor more details


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AONTAS Press Release New obstacles may slow down progress on National Skills Strategy, warns Adult Learning Organisation Click here to read full press release (3 June 2010)


PUBLICATIONS & WEBSITES Explore Magazine The new issue of Explore, the AONTAS magazine on adult education, is now out! Please click here to view it. *****

MEMBERSHIP AONTAS NEWS New Senior Learner Network Report Now Available The forth AONTAS Senior Learner Network meeting took place in the Davenport Hotel, during the Bealtaine Festival. The theme for the meeting was creating a logo for senior learning. Read the full report here. ****** New Community Education Network Report Now Available The 9th meeting of the Community Education Network (CEN) mainly focused on creating a position paper for a proposed funding mechanism for community education using the discussion document as a basis for consultation. This meeting builds on the outcomes of meeting 8 in that the position paper will also meet the issues of funding and autonomy of community education. Read the full report here. ****** Many Happy Returns AONTAS have recently published a short booklet chartering the organisations 40 year history (1969 – 2009). For your copy, please contact Ciara Murphy, Resource & Communications Officer at

AONTAS MEMBERSHIP Any organisation, group or individual that is involved, or interested, in adult and community education may apply for membership. If you feel that you would benefit both in your practice and personally from AONTAS join our vibrant organisation today! ******

****** For more membership news, please visit ******

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INFORMATION EDUCATION & TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FREE Media Training for Members Would you like hands on media training or assistance to develop your media strategy? AONTAS offers FREE media training to members, help with your press releases and advice on promoting your organisation. Training can be delivered in your area and will be tailored to suit the needs of your organisation. For more information or to discuss in greater detail, contact Niamh Farren, Communications Officer, 01 406 8220/ ******

INFORMATION REFERRAL SERVICE The service is suspended until further notice.


Information Booklet If you are interested in

Open Training college information session, 29-30 June 2010 returning to education why th You are invited to an upcoming information event in Galway(29 June) or not download a copy of the Cork (30th June)where you can explore the adult education opportunities Information Booklet by that are available to staff and managers working, or currently seeking clicking here work, in the non-profit/human services sector. The new regional ****** timetable for the BA in applied social studies(disability) that launches in September 2010 will be announced by Raymond Watson, Course Director. Please click here to read more.

****** Vacancy-YSI Education Officers Required! Ireland’s largest social awareness, active citizenship programme for young people (15-18 yrs) fires young people’s passion to change the world for good. YSI has developed a flexible, active learning framework, used so far by over 30,000 young people. In partnership with Cpl, YSI is now seeking passionate, inspired and experienced people to drive its education programme. For more information or a confidential discussion, please contact: Richard Minchin on 01-6146165 Or Vanessa McKay 01 6146171 Or Closing date: 18 Jun 2010


Back to Contents AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation. It is a non-governmental organisation that exists to ensure that every adult in Ireland has access to appropriate and affordable learning opportunities throughout their lives, thus enabling them to participate in the economic, social, civic and cultural development of Irish society. For further information visit or Apologies for any cross posting. If you no longer wish to receive information from AONTAS, please e-mail AONTAS – The National Adult Learning Organisation 83 – 87 Main Street, Ranelagh, Dublin 6W Ph 01 4068220«Fax 014068227«E-mail Company Registration: 80958 Charity Registration: 6719