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Community Education

A non-formal approach to education and learning based in local community

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment

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What is Community Education?

Community education is adult education and learning which takes places outside of the formal education sector. It aims to enhance learning, empower people and contribute to society. Many of the participants in the schemes are early school leavers or those from disadvantaged communities. Those who take part in community education schemes are involved in all aspects of the course development including: the identification of their needs, the design of the programmes and adapting them on a regular basis.

What makes Community Education different to other schemes?

It wants to help participants develop, and help the community develop. It also provides extra supports to ensure that adults can successfully use the programme and further their learning. These supports include: mentoring, continuous feedback and childcare.

Does Community Education get any support?

Community Education Facilitators work to give support to local community groups who provide educational services. This includes giving technical/administrative help, supporting the development, maintenance, and coordination of community education groups and strengthening links between the formal and non-formal education sectors.

Can I take part in Community Education while receiving a social welfare payment?

The Back to Education Initiative enables learners to combine their learning with their other responsibilities.

How are the courses assessed?

Due to the non-traditional nature of community education programmes, the courses generally combine a number of methods of assessment. These include assignments, projects, learners’ records, observations, demonstrations of skills, and exams.

What qualifications can I get for taking part in a Community Education course?

Not all community education courses are undertaken by those who want a formal qualification, but the National Framework of Qualifications has started to recognise non-formal learning. The National Framework of Qualifications has moved from non-traditional into formal education in a straightforward way.

Where do I find out more?

For more details about community education courses in your area, you should contact your local ETB or AONTAS.

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Published October 14th, 2016
Last updated February 21st, 2018
Tags education employment unemployment
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