Christmas wishes for adult learners
If the government could give adult learners one thing for Christmas, what would it be? Our new ALA board has lots of suggestions.
I’d like to see a concerted all-of-government effort to support and
facilitate learning across all ages and for multiple benefits and
purposes. There is a need for something aside from university and VET to help prepare people for life before work, while working, and
post work – given the way VET and ACE have been cut in many
places, courses and sectors. A pilot of a Scandinavian folk high
school model of education in Australia might be brought by reindeer
from Finland for Christmas. I’d like to see a strengthening of bonds
between ALA and the rest of the international adult education
community all around the Pacific rim.
Dr Donna Rooney
I want the government to give adult learners more opportunities to reap all the benefits of learning: including, but not limited to, getting paid work. Sure, a job is important, but so too are things like our health, wellbeing, family relationships, active ageing, positive lifestyles, and social capital.
This Christmas I’m wishing that the government will provide ‘Place Learning Accounts’ to Australia’s most disadvantaged postcodes. Data show that some places in Australia have been doing it tough for a long time. Learning is the key to turning these places around. When you take a satellite view of Australia, you can see the postcodes that are doing it tough. They’re not only in the bush, but on the fringes of cities, neighbourhoods in regional cities, and along coastlines. Aboriginal communities are particularly doing it tough. Let’s empower them: by giving them the power to purchase real learning. Let’s make Santa Claus real!
I would like every adult in Australia to have access to one
government funded non-accredited learning experience of their
choice, every year for life.
For Christmas I would like the government to give adult learners a
voice. It won’t cost anything, it’s easy to implement and can reap
lots of benefits for everyone.
The Australian government should recognise and develop a comprehensive adult lifelong learning culture in Australia, that embraces all forms of learning that occur in many contexts throughout life. Non-formal lifelong learning courses and programs that provide pathways to formal qualifications, help develop generic skills and literacies, promote social inclusion and impact positively on health and wellbeing should be a right of all citizens.
I’d like a national lifelong learning policy wrapped in funding that
recognises the role of ACE in community based informal and formal
learning. Also a policy that recognises that the pathways between
ACE, VET and higher education are multi-directional and not just a
one way ‘ladder’. Each Australian should have a ‘learning account’
with funds and loans up to a specific amount that they can spend
during their lives on formal and informal learning programs that
enrich their lives and provide skills for employment. Happy holidays
to everyone involved in adult learning.
I would like to see greater recognition and resources for adult learning that occurs in both formal and informal communities of practice such as ACE, neighbourhood houses, men’s sheds and NGOs.
What I would really like to see in our stockings are affordable, convenient classes in all kinds of things, available to anyone and everyone. It would be nice to have tax exemptions, or significant subsidies, on any kind of enrolled course … not just those that lead directly to jobs in high profile industries. I’d like to see courses rated by how much people enjoyed going, made friends, had interesting conversations, were inspired to learn more – not just whether there was a qualification or paid employment at the end.
It’s fun to dream!