As we learned last week, a non-profit organization is ensuring that education is easily accessible by offering adult learning courses and computer access centres in local communities.
Miramichi Adult Learning Inc. (MALI), in partnership with the Regional Adult Learning Coordinator (Ann Morrissy), Department of Post Secondary Education Training and Labour offers a series of adult education courses to help adults either upgrade their skills or obtain their GED (General Educational Development ) in the comforts of their home communities. MALI also oversees the community access centres giving students and the community the option to utilize and familiarize themselves with computers.
Last week the Miramichi Leader featured the Boiestown centre, and this week we will look at the centre in Tabusintac.
In Tabusintac, the Access Centre has been offering computer training for a number of years and recently Miramichi Adult Learning Inc. has expanded to offer GED Classes.
According to MALI board member Peggy Gorman-Mitchell, it has been a great benefit for the Tabusintac community. “It’s a wonderful resource,” Gorman- Mitchell said. “The community is so pleased to have it. This provides another door to open for future job opportunities.”
MALI just began offering courses in Tabusintac last year at the Access Centre in the day time when Kathleen Murray was hired.
Murray, formerly of Miramichi, was retired and moved to Tabusintac a few years ago. She was asked by MALI last year to teach the course which was offered full-time. However, since many of the students this year work in the daytime, MALI is offering the courses in the evenings to accommodate their schedule.
The course runs two nights a week for three hours. The students study English, math, social studies and science.
Miramichi Bay-Neguac MLA Carmel Robichaud is a life-long educator, having spent years teaching in the public school system.
Robichaud says having adult learning programs like this will enhance New Brunswick’s ability to reach self-sufficiency by 2026.
“Everybody can bring something to the province,” Robichaud said.
“I think this is an exciting time for adult learners. This is an exciting time for education all around,” Robichaud said.
April Vye works in the centre as the Access Centre Manager (now called E- Learning Centre). Her real passion is for computers at the access centre, where she has introduced a new group of users to the age of technology.
On Thursdays, Vye teaches a group of local seniors how to do everything from surfing the net to creating books by scanning old photographs.
“We’ve scanned over 2,000 pictures,” Vye said.
They’ve already made one book of veterans’ photos and Vye said they have already published a Photo History Book of the history of Tabusintac. The seniors learned how to use the computers to develop this book.
Vye says that it’s quite something to see the looks on the faces of first- time users when the images appear on the computer screens.
“I love it,” Vye said of her time teaching people to use computers.
Mary Stokes is one senior who wanted to keep her mind sharp so she attended Vye’s classes. So learned so much from the classes that now she has her own laptop computer.
Vye has also introduced a French Café where they use a smart board and computers to watch videos and play games and do French quizzes. Vye says it’s a fun learning time, set in a comfortable atmosphere that uses technology.
Gail Savoy, an active member of the Tabusintac community, was a member of the committee who worked to get an access centre in the old Tabusintac Rural School. Savoy said the centre, with the help of Vye, has introduced a new world to the community – something the community is fortunate to have.
“The services provided by the centre are an added bonus to a rural community. Being able to obtain your GED in your home community is a great advantage for many people,” Savoy said. “Not having to travel, one on one instruction – the benefits are immense.”
The access centres in both Tabusintac and Boiestown offer an array of helpful tips like resume writing and job searching.
Fri Mar 20 2009
Byline: Aimee Barry