Irish charity leads the way in online learning

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA ) has launched its eLearning website, Learn with NALA. The website provides 50+ courses for free in subjects such as English, Maths, Computers and Digital Media.

NALA stated: "Learn with NALA was developed especially for the one in six adults in Ireland with literacy needs. According to the last OECD survey, over 500,000 adults have literacy difficulties and significantly more struggle with numeracy.

"This prevents them from doing things that many of us take for granted, such as helping kids with homework, going for a promotion or sending an email. NALA’s eLearning website allows people to learn and improve these skills online and get a qualification if they want to.

"It is the only eLearning website in Ireland that provides national QQI accreditation at Levels 2 and 3 (Level 3 is the equivalent of a Junior Cert qualification ). Learn with NALA is funded by SOLAS, the further education and training authority.

"Most adults with unmet literacy needs can read a little but are reluctant to get involved in anything that might expose their needs. Many are early school leavers or had a negative experience of school and associate returning to learning with that experience. The aim of NALA’s eLearning website is to give people the opportunity to improve their literacy and numeracy for free, at a pace that suits them, in the privacy of their own home.

"NALA also offers teaching support over the phone for anyone who can’t use or access its eLearning website, or who needs support with the courses when using the website. NALA has several tutors who make and take calls in the mornings and evenings, covering only what people want to learn until they meet their goals.

"There are many people in Ireland who don’t have any formal qualifications but have the knowledge associated with a qualification. Very often they don’t have the time to go back to full-time education and do exams. NALA’s eLearning website can be used to get qualifications for what they already know – this is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL ).

"It allows users to do an assessment of their knowledge at the beginning of a course, and if they have the skills and knowledge they can go to the end of the course and do a final assessment towards a QQI qualification. This is perfect for those who have gained knowledge and skills through work and life experiences as it allows them to get a qualification which can then be used as a stepping stone to further education and training or work opportunities.

"NALA is the largest provider of online learning at Levels 2 and 3 in Ireland. Since 2008 it has been leading the way in distance learning – first through teaching programmes on the radio and TV and more recently through online and telephone learning. To date 12,000 people have received 42,000 national QQI qualifications with NALA."


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