Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

Blog Archive

Returning to education was the happiest day of my life

Posted on March 14, 2016

Don KermanReturning to education can be an extremely daunting task but it can be hugely rewarding. In this blog, Don Kerman writes about his positive experience of returning to learning in Tuam Adult Learning Centre in Co Galway. Since writing his story, Don has continued his studies and has successfully completed a QQI level 2 component certificate in reading and is currently working towards a QQI level 2 full accreditation award. Don’s learner story highlights the benefits of lifelong learning and his story shows how taking that first step can lead to many great opportunities.  

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Speak Today, Shape Tomorrow!

Posted on January 07, 2016


Solas 39AONTAS is delighted to announce the first meeting of the National Adult Learner Forum will be held on Friday 26th February during the AONTAS Adult Learners Festival.

What is the National Adult Learner Forum: 

The National Adult Learner Forum will provide a space for learners who are currently in further education and training to come together and have a unique opportunity to directly influence the further education and training service based on their needs by considering the following:

What is working well in the Further Education and Training Service?

What is not working in Further Education and Training and how can it be improved?

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Permanent link | Categories: AONTASNational Adult Learner ForumAdult LearnersSOLASFurther education and training

Make LEARNING your New Year’s Resolution

Posted on December 18, 2015

Is your New Year’s resolution to return to education to learn something new, gain a qualification, pursue an interest or upskill for your career? Here are 7 ways to become an adult learner in 2016.

1.  Distance Learning and E-learning

There has been a growing demand for adult learning opportunities outside of traditional classroom settings. Distance learning and e-learning allow you to study at a time and place that suits your own lifestyle.

The main advantage on this type of learning is that it can be combined with home life and work commitments. It is important to check the course cost and level of the qualification the course provides on the National Framework of Qualifications before signing up. Check out www.qualifax.ie to view the range of courses available.

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Why nominate a project for the AONTAS 10th Annual STAR Awards?

Posted on November 09, 2015

BL5Q2863The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners' Festival to acknowledge the positive contribution of adult learning projects to learners, their local communities and wider society.

Hear from the 2015 STAR Award winners about how the Award has benefitted their programmes and learners.

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Top 10 Benefits of Returning to Education

Posted on August 26, 2015

CastlereaAONTAS017JCEvery year many adults begin their journey back to education, for some they may have had a long break from formal education and others may be looking to update their skills.  VTOS is just one of the many options open to them. Having successfully completed their Leaving Certificate, learners from VTOS in Navan share their top 10 benefits of returning to education. 85% of VTOS participants in the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board progress each year to third level education or employment.

 1.      Career Prospects

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Permanent link | Categories: Adult Learnersbenefits of educationtop 10

ICAE World Assembly, Montreal, June 2015 – A Learner’s Perspective

Posted on July 27, 2015

BL5Q2516The ninth world assembly took place in Montreal, Canada in June and it provided a forum for over 600 adult educators from over 80 countries around the globe. This year’s theme was “Adult learning and Education to create the world we want”. The assembly was attended by an Irish delegation which comprising Liz Waters, AONTAS President, Berni Brady, AONTAS Director, Niamh O’Reilly, Head of Strategic Development, AONTAS and Una Buckley, Learner Ambassador. The assembly programme consisted of a mixture of plenary and workshop activities concluding the adoption of a Final Declaration outlining the priorities for the next four years. The Irish delegation presented at two workshops; Berni Brady and Una Buckley at “The Adult learners’ Movement; comparative national experiences” and Liz Waters and Niamh O’Reilly at “A National Advocacy Network; Raising the voice of Community Education in Ireland”. The first presentation led to a lively discussion on the importance of the learner voice. Una’s input as a Learner Ambassador was particularly powerful and well received. The second workshop was prepared and presented by Niamh O’ Reilly and Liz Waters and this too produced an animated discussion and received very positive feedback.

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European Agenda on Adult Learning Update

Posted on May 08, 2015

Aontas Saint Saviours 094

The European Agenda on Adult Learning highlights the need to raise awareness and increase participation in adult learning. In 2013, AONTAS were invited by the Department of Education and Skills to participate in this EU campaign. The campaign involved a website, an online calendar of events and a Freephone Helpline number. It was supported by a Steering Committee which included ETBI, NCGE, NALA, AEOA and Leargas. In 2014 an application for further activities to promote the Agenda was successful and AONTAS were nominated as the National Coordinators of this project. The current project assisted by an Advisory Committee (which includes NALA and ETBI) will deliver on three interlinked activities and build on the work of the previous project.

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The National Adult Learner Forum 2016

Posted on April 10, 2015

Solas 23AONTAS Experience

AONTAS has many years’ experience of organising and facilitating learner events and giving people a platform to voice their issues. Examples of this include our Lobby for Learning Days in which policy makers were given the opportunity to engage in dialogue with learners, and the SOLAS Learner Consultation in which learners were given an opportunity to help influence the Further Education and Training (FET) Strategy. As a result of this work AONTAS has been named as the main lead organisation in the FET Strategy to establish a National Adult Learner Forum.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: National adult learner forumlearner engagementAONTAS

Navigating the CAO: A Guide for Mature Students

Posted on January 21, 2015

cao1. CAO Handbook - www.cao.ie
The first step for mature students looking to apply to the CAO is to request a copy of the CAO Handbook. This will give you a thorough guide of the application process and will tell you everything you need to know. You can request a booklet by visiting www.cao.ie or alternatively 091 509800 to request one. You should read your handbook carefully (note certain sections are specifically for mature Applicants). On the CAO website you will find a 'CAO Mature Student Video Guide' which will guide you through the process. Note: Generally mature applicants should be 23 years old on or before 1st January of the year that you wish to enter the course.

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What does local government reform mean for community education? Four key questions.

Posted on September 22, 2014

Tara Farrell - Tara Farrell, Deputy CEO Longford Womens' Link and AONTAS Executive Member
Tara Farrell, Deputy CEO Longford Womens' Link and AONTAS Executive Member

The past two year period has seen the further education and training sector experiencing the most dramatic reform agenda in its short existence.  The establishment of SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards along with QQI have significant implications for how community education will be supported and delivered.  For the sixteen Education and Training Boards, recent milestones include the appointment of new Board Members following the Local Elections 2014 and the completion of the transfer of FÁS Training Centres. For the community education sector, the reform process is not over.  An ambitious reform agenda led out by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will reconfigure the local structures that organisations will have to interact with.  Community education receives funding from a range of government departments and initiatives and will need to actively engage in this process. 

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Local Government ReformCommunity Education

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