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AONTAS Update...

07 September 2010 Issue Number 49 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. This week, why not nominate your project for a STAR Award. Nominate online here or check out for more information. The deadline is Friday, 26 November 2010 and don't forget to check out the FAQ section and the sample nomination. 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.

POLICY Adult Education News



Adult Learners’ Festival News Events Publications & Websites

AONTAS News Membership News AONTAS Membership

POLICY ADULT EDUCATION NEWS O’Keeffe announces graduate programme Graduates 4 International Growth has been developed by Enterprise Ireland in association with the Smurfit Business School. This new programme is aimed

INFORMATION Information Referral Service Education & Training Opportunities

at placing college graduates with export-led firms. The deadline for applications from firms and graduates is September 27th. Further details at www. (Irish Times, 31/08/10) 36,400 snap up first round CAO offers 36,400 people have taken up first round offers from the CAO. The CAO said the 36,392 acceptances received through its website up to yesterday evening’s deadline is up from 35,669 a year ago when 95% of offers were accepted online. 48,448, around 62%, of this year’s record 77,628 college applicants got an offer from the Central Applications Office. (Irish Examiner, 31/08/10) CAO offers to disabled and poor jump 61pc A record 10,700 CAO applications from students in families suffering socioeconomic disadvantage, or students with a disability applied through The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) and the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) to access college places this year. As a result the level of CAO offers to students in such categories jumped 61pc, to 1,661, about 10 times the increase in college offers generally. (Irish Independent, 01/09/10) Majority of adults opt out of lifelong learning New CSO figures show that in Ireland only 26pc of adults take part in organised learning once they have left school. The younger age group, 25 to 34, is more likely to return to formal education in schools or colleges or begin non-formal education such as night classes or other courses but at 33% this is still far behind the 45pc EU average. Fine Gael education spokesperson Fergus O'Dowd said the Government's poor record in lifelong learning had failed to ensure ongoing training and education during the boom years. (Irish Independent, 03/09/10) Fás 'should be shut' - Quinn Mr Quinn has stated that it is time for a “complete reconstruction" of Fás and he would like to see its training budget allocated to the ITs. He said that people ’ want up-skilling and training within the Fetac system of awards and that people in the labour market who have become redundant want to go back to universities or institutes of technology for retraining. (Irish Times, 03/09/10) The price of knowledge An interview with HEA executive Tom Boland about the crippling impact the lack of resources is having on the country’s third level instituions and how the current situation cannot continue (Irish Examiner, 03/09/10)


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PROMOTION ADULT LEARNERS FESTIVAL NEWS Date for your Diary The Adult Learners’ Festival 2011 takes place from 21st to 25th February 2011. The Festival, now in its fifth year is a nationwide celebration of adult learning coordinated by AONTAS – The National Adult Learning Organisation. Planning is well underway for the 2011 Festival and further information will be circulated in the coming weeks. ******* The STAR Awards AONTAS - The National Adult Learning Organisation is now accepting nominations for the STAR Awards 2011 as part of the fifth annual Adult Learners' Festival. The STAR Awards are about recognizing and celebrating the invaluable collaborative work undertaken by adult learning initiatives in our communities. In the current climate it's even more important that we continue to showcase the value of the sector in responding to the needs of individuals, communities, society and the economy ******* Adult Learners’ Festival 2010 Report This report contains an in depth look at the organisation of the Adult Learners’ Festival 2010 as well as key outcomes and recommendations for future Festivals. The report is intended to be a companion document to the Adult Learners’ Festival Explore Magazine which provides a snapshot of the celebrations during the 2010 Festival week. Click here to read the full report. It couldn't be easier to nominate your project: 1. Click here to nominate online. 2.Download the Microsoft Word version of the nomination form and return to Why not perfect your answers using the word version of the nomination form and copying and paste into the online version? Don't forget to read the frequently asked questions and the sample nomination form and for hints and tips on the best way to complete the form. The deadline for nominations is Friday, 26 November 2010


For AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival news, please visit


Events NALA Literacy Awareness Week National Adult Literacy Awareness Week (NALAW) 2010 takes place this week between 6th and 10th September. NALA chose this week to link with International Literacy Day on the 8 September. In keeping with their 30th birthday celebrations, they plan to use the week to raise awareness of what literacy means in 2010 – not just the skills of reading and writing but also maths, computers and most importantly, empowering people to reach their full potential. Specifically, we plan to highlight how literacy learning can be a stepping stone to further education and training opportunities. Many adults over the years have left school early and might not now have a Junior Certificate or equivalent qualification. This can act as a barrier to accessing other educational opportunities. As low skilled jobs become less available, these people are now at the greatest risk of unemployment and already form the greatest group who are unemployed. Building on An Post’s ‘Take the first step’ advertising campaign, NALA plan to highlight how individuals can now get a FETAC qualification through literacy learning. Click here for more information. ****** BALLYMUN Whitehall EDUCATION FAIR An action packed Education Fair is taking place in Ballymun Civic Centre on Thursday 9th September 2010, from 9am-4:30pm. At 11am, the Fair will be officially opened by Minister for Lifelong Learning Seán Haughey TD with guest speakers from Ballymun who will talk about what returning to education has meant for their lives. Following this, the newly appointed President of DCU, Brian Mac Craith, will speak. Subsequently, Stephen Crowe and Luke Hislop from Ballymun will speak about returning to Education! Ballymun Whitehall Education Fair is organised by Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership and aims to promote learning, education and training opportunities for both adults and young people of all ages right in the heart of their own community. Meet with 40 organisations who will be giving out information on what they offer and that will be recruiting for their upcoming courses. If you need advice on what direction to take your life or career in then the Adult Education Guidance Service of the VEC and Ballymun Job Centre Career Guidance will be on hand to sit with you and talk things over. Almost everything showcased at Ballymun Whitehall Education Fair happens in and around the Ballymun/Whitehall area and you can join in. So make it your business to drop in as you get on with life or on your way to or from work or

the school run. Ballymun Whitehall Education Fair is OPEN ALL DAY. For more information on Ballymun Whitehall Education Fair please contact Kate Bunworth in Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership at or you can call 01 8423612 to find out about the timetable for the day.

****** 33rd Adult Education & Training Exhibition-Cork City The 33rd Adult Education & Training Exhibition takes place in City Hall, Cork, next week from Tuesday September 7 - Thursday September 9. Admission is free – and there are free workshops on Tuesday evening & Wednesday afternoon, and a debate with politicians on Thursday evening. Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, will officially open the exhibition at 5.30pm on Tuesday next, September 7. For more information please contact: Tina Neylon , ph;086 603 5552; email ****** Pleisiur-Fundraising concert in the National Concert Hall on Sunday 12 September Pleisiur is a rare coming together of legendary Irish traditional musicians, singers and composers, in a concert of music played for pleasure in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. The concert starts at 8.00pm. Tickets available on the National Concert Hall website or by phoning them on their booking line at 01 417 0000. Artists include Liam O’Flynn, Rita Connolly, Shaun Davey, Sean Keane, Donal Lunny, Neil Martin, Noel Eccles, Rod McVey and Seamus Begley. ****** “Researching Community Education” Conference Co Wexford VEC and AONTAS will present a conference on “Researching Community Education” on Friday 1st October 2010 at the Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co Wexford. Speakers at the conference will be: Professor Barry Golding-University of Ballarat, Austraia Berni Brady, AONTAS Director Natasha bailey, Researcher Dr Ted Fleming, NUI Maynooth Further information available here: 20Community%20Education%20-%20October%201st%202010.pdf ******

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AONTAS Strategic Plan AONTAS is currently engaging in a consultation process to develop its next Strategic plan which will guide the work of the organisation for three years from 2011 until 2013. The consultation began at the Annual General Meeting of membership held on May 19th 2010. An extensive AONTAS strategic plan consultation process will commence in the autumn. You will be receiving information about the regional seminars in the post soon. We strongly encourage you to participate in this process by: 1. Completing the strategic plan consultation questionnaire byFriday 15th October(if you have not done so already).Please click this link to the survey. 2. Attending your local seminar in Wexford, Kerry or Limerick, as appropriate. 3. Attending the AONTAS General Meeting onWednesday 17th Novemberin Dublin. Here is a summary ofthe AONTAS Strategic Plan ConsultationProcess 573- Questionnaires 2ALF events 7Interviews 8Stakeholder Surveys 1Focus Group 3Regional Seminars 1National Meeting 1Community Education Meeting 1Learner Network Forum 7community education workshops/visits The consultation process is flexible and further activities may be added to this work depending on the need. Remember to stay up to date on the consultation process by logging on to our website. Get involved to shape the work of AONTAS! ******* CEN meeting-21st October 2010 The next CEN meeting will take place on Thursday 21st October in The Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Registration will take place at 9.45am and we will finish up with lunch at 1.15pm. The agenda for the day and further information will be available shortly. Please click on the link to register: ******* Members contact details We are currently planning to change from posting invoices and statements to sending them by email, enabling us to improve efficiency. In order to ensure that we have your current contact details, please

MEMBERSHIP Over 550 learners, tutors, adult education coordinators, managers, policy makers and many other interested organisations and individuals avail of the many benefits of AONTAS 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!

complete our online form. Click hereor go to your earliest convenience and fill in the form in our Existing Members section If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact Dympna Larkin at dlarkin@aontas.comor phone 01 4068220. *******

MEMBERSHIP NEWS Men Alone in No Mans Land: Looking for Property Calling all business people in Dublin’s Inner City do you have a PROPERTY lying idol if so MAIN needs your help? Men Alone in No Man’s Land is a voluntary community based group established to support men in Dublin’s inner city. MAIN came into existence following a response by a number of men to what they saw as an absence of social, psychological, and solidarity networks for men living in Dublin. For further information, please contact Joe Murdoff on 018984027 or visit the website at ******* Explore articles AONTAS is putting together the next issue of the magazine Explore. The next issue will profile some of the new Activation Measures, give an overview of the AONTAS Strategic Planning Process, and an update on the latest policy development in adult education. Do you have an idea for a feature, news from your project that you would like to share, or a policy issue that you would like to raise? If you would like to write a short article, or suggest an idea for an article, then contact Niamh Farren, Communications Officer, or on 01 406 8220. ******* 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/ ******

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INFORMATION EDUCATION & TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES Limerick Institute of Technology courses Limerick Institute of Technology are now taking registrations for Lifelong


Learning Autumn 2010.Lifelong Learning Information & Registration Evenings for the Autumn 2010 semester will take place on: Moylish Park Campus Tuesday 14th September 2010 6.30pm to 8.30pm LSAD Clare Street Campus (Art & Design courses) Monday 13th September 2010 6.30pm to 8.00pm New courses on offer this year include Life Drawing, Surface Decoration & Embellishment, Creative Photography, Introduction to and Advanced Digital Photography, Video Production, Audio-Editing, Introduction to MidiSequencing, Building CAD, Higher Certificate in Business in Retail Management (Level 6), Higher Certificate in Science in Health & Safety (Level 6) and three new City & Guilds CAD & CAM courses.

****** Call for applications for a study visit The programs below are sponsored by the Irish Institute at the Center for Irish Programs, Boston College, and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. All program-related costs including travel, accommodation, tuition, and the majority of meals are provided. To apply: Please visit our website at for an application form. Applications for individual programs are typically posted 810 weeks in advance. “Emerging Voices: Millennial Journalists in a Changing Media Landscape” This program will bring up to fourteen young journalists (ages 22-35) working across a variety of media to engage with their American counterparts in a discussion about the direction of journalism in the twenty first century. Among the topics covered will be the use of new media, new resources for research, journalistic ethics and balance, mixed media journalism, etc. The program will feature academic seminars, visits to media outlets, and meetings with prominent reporters, editors, and news producers. Deadline: September 17th “Empowering Marginalized Youth: A Multi Agency Response” This program will include up to fourteen community leaders, educators, representatives of law enforcement, legal advocates, and youth rehabilitation experts. The program will be specifically targeted to those who work within marginalized communities, with young criminal offenders and/or within the youth criminal justice system. It will examine alternatives to incarceration such as counseling,

SERVICE Information Booklet If you are interested in returning to education why not contact our Information Referral Service on 01 4068220. Alternatively, download a copy of the Information Booklet by clicking here ******

probation, drug rehabilitation, monetary restitution, or community service. The program will also look at how youth offenders are prepared for release and at ways in which to empower young people in disadvantaged areas through entrepreneurship and active involvement in civil society.


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