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‘Vital institution’ providing education for adults reopens

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New direction: Arlene Brock has been appointed managing director of the Adult Education School (Photograph supplied)

A “vital community institution“ providing education for adults that shut down last year has reopened, with a new management team on board.

The Adult Education School closed at the end of the 2021 academic year to undertake “a comprehensive feasibility study of adult education needs in Bermuda”.

The Dundonald Street facility has now reopened and is providing a pilot programme of GED preparation through tutorials for a small group of students.

The programme will be expanded next year and the school also plans to offer vocational skills training, college and career preparation courses, and community education.

Former ombudsman Arlene Brock has been appointed managing director, and Thaao Dill, who worked as recruitment officer for the Bermuda College, is the new director of programming.

Ms Brock, whose aunt, Merle Brock Swan Williams, founded the school more than 60 years ago, said: “This is an opportunity for us to address the critical needs of so many people in our community.

“We are excited to connect with people, learn about their challenges and help them solve problems and achieve success. The Adult Education School is here to help.

“I am thrilled to honour the legacy of my aunt and take this important role that continues my longstanding connection with this vital community institution.”

An AES spokesman said that, according to statistics, 16 per cent of Bermudians without a high school certificate are unemployed, while 30 per cent of Black males aged between16 and 25 are at risk of poor literacy and life competence.

Aaron Crichlow, the AES board marketing committee chairman, said that there had been an “urgent need” for the school to improve and expand its services “to better serve and support our people as they grow”.

He said: “We understand that education is one of the most effective tools for individual empowerment and collective freedom.

“We will honour the values and commitment to social justice that have been our hallmark for more than 60 years. We are deeply focused on providing the kind of comprehensive, holistic service that Bermuda’s community requires.”

Listening to the community: AES board marketing chairman Aaron Crichlow (Photograph supplied)

The school hopes to attract and inspire anyone in need of education — from teenagers who disengaged from traditional academic environments to working adults, as well as service providers who require more resources and support for their clients.

In addition, the school is building a consortium of service providers who share its values and commitment to Bermuda’s community of adult learners. It will form partnerships “to solve common problems, build institutional strength and reduce redundancy in the adult education sector”.

Students will be given individualised assistance tailored to meet their specific needs.

Mr Dill said: “My experience working with young people has taught me that many individuals require much more than is provided by the traditional classroom environment.

“An AES team member will work with each learner to identify their big-picture goals, define a clear pathway to achieve them and get access to their required resources.

“We will remain directly connected with each learner, providing support and encouragement every step along the way to their destination.”

If you’re interested in learning at the Adult Education School, or providing support as a community member or donor, call or WhatsApp Mr Dill on 705-6677, Aaron Crichlow on 732-1899 or e-mail aesbda@gmail.com.

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Published December 01, 2022 at 7:41 am (Updated December 01, 2022 at 7:41 am)

‘Vital institution’ providing education for adults reopens

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