The Vancouver School District’s Adult Education program provides students ages 16 years or older with courses from the literacy level to secondary school completion. A variety of structured and self-paced courses are available throughout the year. Although they may look a bit different at the moment as in-class instruction is suspended, learning continues for Adult Education students.
Namorsh Reddy is an outreach worker at both the Gathering Place Education Centre and South Hill Education Centre. She works with students in a variety of ways, helping them to stay connected and on track. With in-class learning not taking place currently, the time has highlighted to Reddy the importance of students staying in regular communication with the school.
“At this time, it has been so important in keeping in contact with the students I support - making sure they are able to continue doing their course work and assessments, supporting them in staying in touch with teachers, assisting them with getting digital access or providing paper-based materials if needed,” says Reddy.
“Especially right now, the importance of staying connected is key, and that taking a course is much more than just doing the work, you have that community with your fellow students, that motivation especially in challenging circumstances,” adds Reddy.
That support is felt by students. As Angela Poy looks to return to university to complete her degree after a long period away, she recognizes the value of Adult Education. “I’m studying English 12 to improve my mark, and to polish up my writing skills ahead of returning to UBC,” says Poy.
Poy is taking a self-paced course, and finding not being in the classroom challenging. “It’s at these times that you realize having that support in the classroom setting and the rapport with my teachers is so important. But I am really appreciating Namorsh’s support, keeping me accountable, encouraging me in my studies”.
At South Hill Education Centre, the new term for structured courses recently began. Allan Haley is an instructor at the centre, and currently teaches Upgrading English and Academic English.
He uses a class blog in his teaching as a kind of virtual chalkboard, which students have always found useful, but especially now as they are not able to meet together as a class.
“I’ve been using the blog for some time for students to access notes from the class afterwards - it’s a permanent record of what we studied. But now with virtual learning, this blog has become key in teaching, sharing resources and staying connected to my students”, says Haley.
Janaina Batista began Adult Education classes last September. Originally an international student from Brazil, Batista is taking courses to improve her English. “I really enjoy the time in class with the teachers and my classmates, because it improves my grammar and my conversation a lot,” says Batista.
“Now in this time of the pandemic, I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue my classes online, so I can continue to practice my English and have a schedule,” adds Batista.
Asmaa Mohyeeldin is also in Haley’s class. Finding learning online a challenge, she is grateful for her teacher’s assistance and resources they provide. “My teacher has adapted teaching for me to continue learning during this time very well. He was already using a blog to share learning in class before, so we can continue using that now too,” says Mohyeeldin.
Whether self-paced or structured, these Adult Education courses demonstrate the importance of having supportive environments for students to learn and to thrive.
Learn more about Adult Education at the District.