What is Community Education?
The publication of the White Paper on Adult Education, Learning for Life gave a new recognition to Community Education in Ireland. Community Education operates from a particular ethos. It is local to the participants; the group can control what, when, where and how the learning takes place, barriers to participation are recognised and supports can be put in place to try and overcome them and the previous experience of the participants is taken as the basis for further learning. The outcomes are at two levels.
- At personal level participants gain knowledge and skills thus outlining options for progression.
- At a collective level it builds the capacity of local communities to critically analyse the society in which they live and to take action to change it.
Resources and Expertise Available
Assistance in the planning, development and management of new and existing community based learning groups. Particular supports provided include:
- Promoting the development and nurturing of new community based learning groups
- Liaison in relation to quality assurance, accreditation and certification
- Assisting Community Education groups to accessing funding and networking with local and national providers
- Developing and encouraging partnerships and links between community education groups and statutory bodies and other providers.
- Initiating and facilitating community education programmes and initiatives at outreach centres.
Community Education Scheme
Purpose of the scheme:
The Department of Education and Science states that Community Education refers to adult education and learning, generally outside the formal education sector, with the aim of enhancing learning, empowerment and contributing to civic society. The purpose of this scheme is to assist community and voluntary groups to deliver a range of educational activities for disadvantaged adults within their community. For example:
- Programmes that strengthen and increase the skills and knowledge of groups active in community and voluntary organisations leading to greater community involvement and participation;
- Programmes which support education and learning for community based women and men's groups, Travellers and other ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and older people.
- Courses which develop parenting skills and improve family life;
- Programmes which help address social problems such as isolation;
- Initiatives, which help those living in poverty to have more equal access to education.
Who Can Apply:
Community and voluntary groups can apply who are involved in provision of educational activities for the specified adult target group. The grants provided are to enable disadvantaged adults to avail of community education at minimal or no cost. Therefore priority will be given to groups in disadvantaged areas, projects aimed at specially disadvantaged groups, educational activities that lead to progression of the individual and the group and also education that has national accreditation. Activities exclusively involving children and school going teenagers are ineligible under this scheme.
Depending upon the application funding is made in two ways:
- Tuition hours only. Teachers will be paid directly by the VEC on production of a signed claim form and a completed Community Education Tutor Report. These reports should be submitted directly to the Community Education Facilitator either at the end of a course (short courses) or on a monthly basis (long courses).
- Grant aid to deliver programme outlined in original application.
Keeping of Records:
Groups, which have been granted assistance by either method, will be obliged to keep records of attendance of participants and details of the programme conducted.
Application forms are available on request from the Sligo VEC Offices (Adult Education Section).
Community Education Part-time FETAC Courses