EU Project: Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership for Adult Education
Ballymun Adult Read and Write Scheme (BARWS) accepted an invitation to participate in a Hungarian led proposal for a transnational project under the Erasmus+ KA2 – Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices programme in March 2018. Titled ‘Back to learning – developing key competence of adults for high quality learning opportunities’ the project was approved in July 2018 with a start date in October 2018, final meeting in June 2020 and end date in October 2020.
Adult education agencies from six EU countries; Estonia, Malta, Spain, Germany, Hungary and Ireland, are participating in the project and each hosting a transnational meeting. Programmes for meetings include; sharing of good practice in teaching and learning, CPD for both group and volunteer tutors and networking to promote adult basic education services in local communities.
The first meeting was held in Potsdam, Germany where Christine Carroll, Manager, Ballymun Adult Read and Write Scheme and Tutor Support Jean Brophy along with their project partners were provided with an overview of good practice in the delivery of basic education programmes at a local adult learning centre. They were pleased to observe that many of the good practices presented are similar to CDETB Adult Education methodologies for programme delivery to adult learners. One of the interesting concepts in Potsdam was the provision of a once weekly drop-in literacy tuition session. The three-hour session is managed by a group tutor supported by up to five volunteer tutors. Learners attend on an availability / needs basis, with no requirement for registration or the provision of personal data. This service is provided as a method of reaching a target group who are not yet ready to fully engage with adult basic education services.
The second project meeting was hosted by BARWS in CDETB Ballymun Adult Education Centre on 5/6th March 2019. The programme included a visit to STAR project where two BARWS tutors are delivering QQI Levels 2 and 3 modules. Both tutors spoke of the challenges and benefits of delivering literacy and numeracy programmes in an outreach Centre. The project partners also had tutor presentations on assessment for accredited and unaccredited groups and on themed learning such as BARWS horticulture programme. An outline of the CDETB Progress Framework Literacy Assessment tool was also presented.
At the Potsdam meeting, Christine and Jean learned that there is limited volunteer tutor training available in that Centre so during the Ballymun visit they presented an overview of the CDETB Volunteer Tutor Training programme. Colleagues, Michelle Morrissey and Paul Maguire from the Adult Education Guidance Service in Ballymun presented an outline of their work. This item was of particular interest to project participants who do not have an adult education guidance service in their own country.
The project partners had the opportunity to hear, first-hand, our learners’ experience of returning to adult basic education when they met with more than thirty BARWS learners to have a tea and chat session. There was a wonderful buzz of conversation and interaction during tea break that morning.
The cultural element of the visit to Dublin was a tour of the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun and later, an evening tour of Dublin City Centre led by BARWS history tutor. Christine and Jean have received very positive feedback regarding the Dublin meeting from the project partners. They would like to acknowledge the support and co-operation of BARWS staff, tutors and students during the visit. They also appreciate the support of CDETB Adult Education Officer Celia Rafferty and colleagues in CDETB Ballymun Adult Education Centre which ensured the success of the visit.
The CDETB Adult Education Service is looking forward to further sharing of good practice at the next transnational meeting in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2019.