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Community Education

County Wexford VEC » Adult & Community Education »Community Education

Department of Education & Science definition:

Community education refers to education and learning, generally outside the formal education sector, with aims of enhancing learning, empowerment and contributing to civic society it is firmly community-based, with local groups taking responsibility for and playing a key role in organising courses, deciding on programme content and recruiting tutors.  The grants provided by the department to the VEC's are to enable disadvantaged adults to avail of community education at minimal or no cost. This is usually allocated through the provision of teaching hours, or small grants to a range of community and voluntary groups for educational activities.

Aontas Definition:

Community education is education and learning which is rooted in a process of empowerment, social justice, change challenge, respect and collective consciousness.  It is within the community and of the community, reflecting the developing needs of individuals and their locale.  It builds the capacity of local communities to engage in developing responses to educational and structural disadvantage and to take part in decision making in the community.  It is distinct from adult education provision due both to its ethos and the to the methodologies it employs.

Criteria for Community Education

  • The group must have an organisational structure
  • The need for the project must be clearly identified and rooted in the community
  • The learning outcomes for the group and individual are clearly identified
  • Is the course contributing to the developmental capacity of the community
  • Is the course contributing to volunteering in the community
  • The course is available to the whole community
  • There is evidence of linkage with other groups and agencies
  • Priority will be given to groups whose focus is addressing educational & community disadvantage by ensuring access & opportunity
  • Elements of personal development are integrated into the programme
  • Social outlets are not funded
  • New people must participate on each programme
  • Progression routes must be clearly identified and included in a plan

You can read the 2005 Community Education Annual Report by clicking on the link below

Community Education Annual Report 2005