In this blog we discuss our experience of gathering information on Adult Education and in particular “Intensive Tuition in Adult Basic Education (ITABE)” – Simon Doran, Jenni Miller, Conor O’Dea, Matthew Thomas (Higher Diploma in Further Education Students)
Do you know what Intensive Tuition in Adult Basic Education (ITABE) is? Neither did we. So we googled it. This is what we found.
The Intensive Tuition in Adult Basic Education (ITABE) was developed by the Department for Education & Science in 2006, in partnership with IVEA (Irish Vocational Education Association) and NALA (National Adult Literacy Agency) after being called for by tutors, students and ALO’s (Adult Literacy Organization). Delivered through the ETB it is a form of tuition in adult literacy and basic education for those who are educationally disadvantaged. It is to provide students with the chance to participate, in either groups or on a 1/1 basis, in 6 hours of tuition over a 14-week period. It is targeted to those over the age of 18 who are not attending full-time second level education. Their literacy and numeracy skills must be below the level of a National Framework Qualification (NFQ) level 3 (ETBI, 2019).
“The majority of tuition hours will be allocated to modules most directly related to literacy/numeracy provision. The course content should include a combination of the following:
- Communication Skills: Oracy / Reading / Writing /Spelling /Numeracy
- Learning to Learn: Understanding Learning Styles / Study Skills / Educational Guidance
- Introduction to IT: Basic Computers / Internet” (ETBI, 2019)
Do you now know what ITABE is?
Now put yourself in the shoes of someone who struggles to read and write. Would you understand ITABE then? If you read this would you sign up for a programme like this?
We as a group of postgraduate students that share different experiences in relevance to further education, a group who are used to researching topics, agree that the answer is no. This is in fact not accessible. Even the word in the title “Intensive” is potentially off putting. The potential students who would benefit from these courses will usually be at a basic level of literacy/numeracy. A strong word such as “Intense” implies an excessive workload on the potential students who wish to attend, sometimes that is not the case. It took time, effort and collaboration from all of us to fully get to grips with what ITABE truly is. So, whilst we agree that the programme itself could benefit a huge amount of people in their respective communities, we are afraid that those that turn to the internet for their information would find it difficult to understand. We are aware that not everyone will access the internet, but it can also be difficult for family and friends who want to recommend this programme to get an understanding of the course in its entirety.
From this simple google search we all have agreed that the information given was considerably overwhelming. Pages that consist of text heavy content with no visual or audio resources could be seriously disheartening for those with poor literacy and IT skills. We as a group feel that use of video resources and past student testimonies would display the information in a more accessible way for most within the community. Therefore, this would be exciting and engaging and give a first-hand insight into what the course includes. We believe this would widen the net and attract more people to participate and ultimately improve their skills. By displaying the information as it currently is, the gap is becoming wider for those most in need of this programme. The first step back in to education can be the most daunting experience in someone’s life. We owe it to them as educators to be the helping hand they need.
ETBI, 2019, Intensive Tuition in Adult Basic Education (ITABE), [Accessed 13.12.2019]