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Key Role For Adult And Community Education

2 July 2002

A revitalised and strengthened adult and community education (ACE) sector will maintain its important role within the new tertiary sector under the next Labour government, Associate Education Minister, Marian Hobbs, said today.

"We are committed to the concept of lifelong learning and Labour's tertiary education policy recognises and supports the ACE sector," Marian Hobbs said.

"After the last election we established the Adult and Community Learning Working Party which produced a blue print for the future 'Koia Koia: Towards a Learning Society'. We are committed to following that report.

"Under Labour, for the first time the Ministry of Education has a senior person, in chief adviser Judi Altinkaya, dedicated to ACE work, providing coordination and new impetus to the work growing from Koia Koia.

"The report recognised that within a community or region there were many different groups involved in adult and community education. They don't always know each other. We needed to establish networks to deliver adult and community education effectively. Pilot networks are being set up in North Shore, Manukau City, Dunedin and Central Otago.

"This year's Budget provided an additional $8 million to implement the Adult Literacy Strategy taking total funding to over $53 million.

"As a country and as a people we need concerted action to raise levels of literacy among our adult population. The new funding provides greater investment in a wide range of community projects. It ensures that all New Zealanders enjoy a level of literacy that enables them to participate fully in all aspects of life, including work, family and the community.

"In our next term we will ensure that we continue to recognise adult and community education as an important part of the new tertiary education strategy.

"We have made significant progress already in contributing to the country's education, social and economic objectives. We will build on a mood already evident that recognises the importance of developing skills and knowledge for all New Zealanders needing to meet the challenges of the 21st century."

Ends

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