ACE continues to propose that a key goal of the schooling system is to support and nurture young people to become skilled and confident lifelong learners.

We note that submissions to date have strongly supported this, and we continue to propose this.  Our experience is that adults who have not acquired strong learning to learn skills, aren’t confident in education settings struggle to gain and develop their skills and knowledge to position themselves to meet their aspirations across their economic, family and community dimensions of their lives.

The NZ curriculum, a key schooling system document was broadly consulted and developed has a lifelong learning goal.  The Tertiary Education Strategy, another very broadly consulted and developed education document has expectations that adults will engage with learning at different points, in different ways, for different purposes during their lives.

ACE often sees adults who have not acquired learning to learn skills, are not confident or well placed to learn.  These adults often face major hurdles across a number of dimensions of their lives; in the workplace; in their community; and within their family.  We would like to draw your attention to this by a couple of examples - examples of ACE learners & their success on re-engaging with education (ACE) to build their learning to learn skills and positive impact across their lives:

Take for example a programme run by Wairarapa REAP in collaboration with Corrections.  In last years’ programme selected convicted offenders serving a community sentence completed a five week course to improve their life skills and job prospects.  The programme was tailored to individual needs so that each person could get onto a fresh pathway both for themselves and their families.  At the end of the programme about 90 percent went on to work or further education (several have taken up apprenticeships, one is doing a chefs course and another a counselling programme).

Or just some of the young Māori on the ĀKAU programme in Kaikohe.  ĀKAU means where the land meets the water – a place of transition.  The course is run by three young architects – in their studio. To get the pilot course off the ground they shoulder-tapped unemployed young Maori on the streets of Kaikohe. By the end of the programme Jasmax e Teira (who first thought he might become a builder) came to see that he could become an architect and this year he started at Unitec; Rakky decided that she will become a business woman and was looking at a L3 course – hoping that in the future she can do a co-joined degree in business and design; Honey was looking towards university (after attending to some whānau responsibilities); and Jaden was considering a building apprenticeship.

ACE continues to propose a broad process for setting and refreshing national priorities statements for early learning and schooling as this will support a truly reflective priorities statement, and draw on the rich experiences of many New Zealanders. This would include engagement with:

  • Early learning and schooling organisations & professionals

  • Young people

  • Tertiary education organisations

  • Researchers

  • Business and workplaces

  • Communities

  • Families

Broad consultation will support a truly reflective priorities statement to be developed, will have broad support, and will position young people to navigate well through their adult lives and easily and confidently engage with further learning and training as their needs and aspirations desire.

Tertiary Education Organisations, including ACE, engage with many people who have moved through early learning and schooling in NZ, and can reflect on their learners’ earlier education experiences & perspectives, and reflect on communities and businesses needs & aspirations for adult learners.

ACE is well placed to comment on the significant number of adults who have not succeeded well in early learning and schooling, and the impact this has on their lives, and their willingness, ability, and confidence to engage in further learning. 

Who we are

We are the ACE Strategic Alliance, a forum for collectively addressing high level issues facing the ACE sector. We consist of senior representatives of the main ACE providers. They include Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa; Te Runanga o Te Ataarangi; Community Learning Association through Schools (CLASS); REAP Aotearoa NZ (REAPANZ); Literacy Aotearoa; English Language Partners; the Pasifika Education Centre (PEC); and the Federation of Workers’ Education Associations (FWEA). The Alliance also meets regularly with relevant government agencies to explore new thinking and options across the sector. It is supported by ACE Aotearoa.

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