On March 29 & 30, Education Directors and NEO’s attended a workshop in Halifax on Adult Education. The purpose of the workshop was to begin to work together to build capacity in adult learning and education. It was an opportunity for stakeholders to identify the challenges, barriers, gaps, successes and trends. They also wanted to get a snapshot of where adult learners are and what is available across the province.
The workshop was facilitated by Nancy Macleod and all communities were invited but some were unable to come due to the weather.
Participants discussed what was going on in their own communities. They discussed what the needs are of their students (issues such as bussing, life skills), along with their partnerships (some communities have partnerships with mets, economic development, NSCC etc).
Through these discussions it was noted that “funding patchwork” is happening in communities but it's not to the scope of what needs to be done. There are requirements for more room and more options many communities.
There is very little budget or support for the needs of all communities. There was discussion around the fact that many students are coming in struggling with life issues and those have to be dealt with before they can begin to focus on school.
One of the key issues that they focussed on was that there needs to be greater coordination at the community level between METS, NEO, and education in order to find funding. It is often the case that mature students usually have the most success but they are usually last to receive the funding that is allotted for post secondary.
One of the issues many communities have is with testing and student placement. All participants in the workshop were notified about some free assessments which will be offered across the province in April through literacy Nova Scotia. These assessments, called CARA, help to determine what levels students are at. Interested participants should contact their Education Director for more information.
On Day 2, there were several presentations from different provincial organizations such as Literacy Nova Scotia, Labour and Advanced Education, LAMPSS, (labour market program support system) apprenticeship NS. They shared the many resources and programs that are available throughout the province.