This is a re-post from Ann Walker, former WEA Director for Education https://annwalkerwea.wordpress.com/
Please sign and share the link to the petition to Save Adult Education. Evidence shows successive and massive funding cuts over recent years and a decline in numbers of adult learners in part-time education.
Why does this matter?
There are countless reasons, but here are some:
- Education equips us for life, but the world keeps changing after our compulsory school leaving ages. Adults need to adapt to social and technological changes if they are to keep up with developments. What is the cost of leaving people behind?
- Being able to read and write English fluently and to use numbers accurately are basic skills, not only for jobs but for understanding how public services work, being a savvy consumer, reading health information, taking an active part in society and for leading a dignified life. What is the cost of low levels of adult literacy and numeracy?
- All government services are now designed to be ‘digital by default’. How does this work for people who can’t use technology effectively? What is the cost of digital exclusion?
- Young people leaving school now without specific grades in GCSE English and Maths have to reach those standards. How will they be supported if full-time education didn’t meet their needs and adult learning is being starved of resources? What is the cost of limiting adults’ educational opportunities when need is evident?
- Many school leavers with low attainment levels will become parents of children who follow the same pattern. Educating the parents through family learning partnerships is shown to break the cycle and improve attainment levels for both generations. What is the cost of continuing cycles of educational inequality?
- Education is not just for work. It promotes health and wellbeing, reducing isolation for older people and keeping their minds active, while harnessing the benefits of their experience and is the cost of not enriching older people’s lives through learning?
- Low levels of participation in voting means that democracy is not representative. Learning about how political systems work is important if we are to engage people in civic is the cost of disenfranchised citizens?
- All aspects of life depend upon adaptability and active minds. Learning to learn is a skill in itself. What is the cost of failure to adapt?
- Education is a means to address inequality in many is the cost of inequality?
- Learning is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Art, literature, history and culture should be available to everyone and not only those who can afford them. What is life without interests and pleasure?