The White Paper on Adult Education sees Community
Education as a process of communal education
towards empowerment both at an individual
and collective level. It acknowledges that
the growth of community education had been
constrained by a low level of financial and
other supports and relative detachment from
the rest of the education system. In September
2002 the appointment of Community Education
Facilitators (CEF) to VECs was announced by
the Department of Education and Science. In
line with this recommendation Co Longford
VEC appointed a Community Education Facilitator
in March 2003.
The Role of the
Community Education Facilitator
The role of the Community Education Facilitator
(CEF) is to provide support and assistance
to existing and new community groups to set
up new educational courses in their areas.
The CEF can also facilitate the establishment
of community education groups, womens
groups, mens groups, traveller and other
ethnic minority groups, groups of people with
disabilities, community arts groups or any
special interest groups and help them to plan
courses, apply for funding, share good practice,
monitor quality and network with other groups
within their county. The CEF provides a link
between the non-formal and formal education
sectors and seeks to encourage progression.
at Local Level
Adult and Community Education Groups have
been established throughout County Longford
in various community settings. These groups
cater for the needs of local people and are
organised mainly by community members on a
voluntary basis. Community Education is
a process of empowerment, within the community
and of the community, reflecting the development
needs of individuals and their locale.
It is also characterised by an emphasis on
sharing in learning rather than competing
Co Longford VEC through its Adult Literacy
and Community Education (ALCE) budget gives
support to community groups to maintain community
education programmes in VEC centres or in
their local areas. Alternatively courses may
be organised under the Back to Education Initiative.
Application for funding should be made to
AEO. The VEC pays the tuition costs of approved
courses and may provide other support as appropriate.
Community Education courses are run at times
which are suited to the needs of participants
at local level. Duration of courses varies
according to groups needs and interests.
Community Groups may also be facilitated to
avail of information sessions from other statutory
and non-statutory organisations.