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Minister Names Working Group On Adult Education

The Associate Minister of Education, Lianne Dalziel, today named the working group on Adult Education and Community Learning.

"This working group was signalled prior to the election in the policy statement Pathways and Networks," Lianne Dalziel said in a speech to the Waikato Branch of the Adult and Community Education Association in Hamilton this evening.

"This Government wants advice from the group on how it can best achieve formal recognition, proper organisation and resourcing of the adult education and community learning sector," she said.

The group will be chaired by Mary-Jane Rivers, who has experience in social and community development project management. "Mary-Jane Rivers is highly respected for her ability to think strategically and to facilitate group processes," Lianne Dalziel said.

"Despite the positive and highly valued contribution of adult education and community learning to this Government’s social and economic goals, this area of education has developed in a haphazard manner over a long time.

"Current support for adult education and community learning is delivered through a range of mechanisms, and as a result lacks a coherent and integrated structure.

"There is little flexibility in funding arrangements, measuring achievements within the sector is often inappropriate or non-existent, and there is little scope for provider development and the ongoing professional development of teachers and tutors in the sector," she said.

"This Government is seeking a much more collaborative and co-operative education sector in which a sense of partnership is developed, and that is what we want to encourage in the world of adult education and community learning."

Lianne Dalziel said the working group is to furnish its draft report to her by 28 February 2001.

Role Of The Adult Education And Community Learning Working Group

The Working Group will provide advice to the Associate Minister of Education (Adult and Community Education) on a new policy and funding framework for adult education and community learning, and on how the adult education and community learning sector will work with others to achieve government objectives. This advice will contribute to durable solutions to the current issues facing the adult education and community learning sector, and to the development of a long-term plan for the proper organisation and effective resourcing of the sector over successive Budgets.

Key tasks for the Working Group will be:
 To provide a working definition of the adult education and community learning sector and the range of providers working in it;
 To define a set of objectives, or expectations, for the adult education and community learning sector;
 To advise how those objectives contribute to the key education objectives;
 To consider how the sector might contribute to the adult literacy strategy;
 To advise how the sector will contribute to closing the gaps between Maori and Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders;
 To consider how the adult education and community learning sector will work with other identified organisations to contribute to other relevant government goals and objectives;
 To suggest priorities for action to achieve the greatest gains towards the achievement of all the identified goals and objectives;
 To identify some key measures of achievement, or indicators of progress towards identified objectives for the sector;
 To develop options for effective accountability and quality assurance mechanisms in the sector;
 To define the roles of the various providers in the adult education and community learning sector, and the nature of relationships between them;
 To advise on ways to build more effective partnership between providers;
 To define the roles and responsibilities of national organisations in the sector;
 To develop effective communication with the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission (TEAC) and develop a process for providing advice to TEAC on adult education and community learning;
 To advise on options for effective local input to the planning and delivery of adult education and community learning; and
 To advise on ways to achieve greater credibility and recognition for “non-formal” education undertaken in the sector.

The Working Group will need to ensure that it keeps abreast of developments in other associated areas, in particular on the development of an agreement, or agreement framework, between Government and the community and voluntary sector.

Working Group members

Mary-Jane Rivers (Chair) has extensive experience in government management, and voluntary and community sector work, and as a facilitator and chair of working groups, and community consultation.

Judi Altinkaya is National Co-ordinator of the National Association of ESOL Home Tutor Schemes, and Executive member of the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations, and a past Trustee of the National Resource Centre for Adult Education and Community Learning.

John Benseman is a senior lecturer in Adult Education at the University of Auckland. He has been involved in a wide range of adult education activities as a teacher, administrator and researcher, and co-edited the 1996 publication The Fourth Sector: Adult and Community Education in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Moira Lawler has more than 15 years experience working in the NGO community field. Past work experience includes co-ordinator of the Carrington Polytechnic WEA adult literacy programme 1990-93, and identifying employment and rehabilitation needs of people with mental illness.

Alofa Lale is Pacific Liaison Officer at Victoria University of Wellington. She brings to the group direct experience of working with adult Pacific peoples, students and the personal experience of teaching and community group involvement in Pacific communities.

Dorothy McGray has been involved in community education in New Zealand for more than 20 years. She is a Trustee of the National Resource Centre for Adult Education and Community Learning, and is currently tutor/co-ordinator of the Waitakere Workers’ Educational Association.

Sandy Morrison is Continuing Education Officer at the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Waikato.

Katherine Peet has more than 20 years experience in the community and education fields, and has served both the Adult Community Education Association and the Federation of Workers’ Educational Associations. She is the current Chairperson of the NZ Council of Social Services.

Sean Regan is the Executive Officer of Community Education at Hagley Community College in Christchurch. He is currently serving his second term as President of the Community Learning Association through Schools (CLASS).

Ngarau Tarawa is a Maori Community Education Organiser based in Taumaranui. She has more than 10 years working experience in Maori community education and iwi development work.

Di Wilkinson is the Community Education Officer for the Tararua Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP). She has lived and worked in rural areas all her life.

Bronwyn Yates, of Te Arawa, Rongowhakaata and Ngai Tangamahi descent, is Te Tumuaki (Chief Executive Officer) of Literacy Aotearoa. Bronwyn is currently a trustee of the National Resource Centre of Adult Education and Community Learning.

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