AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival 2021Less than 2 Weeks to Go!


16th February 2021 – Newsletter        

There is less than two weeks left until the Adult Learners’ Festival 2021! In this short newsletter update, you can learn more about the AONTAS resources available to support your involvement in the festival and an update on the AONTAS programme of events.

Register for Wednesday’s AONTAS Membership Webinar: “Organising Your Virtual Event”

Date: Wednesday, 17th February
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm

  1. Deciding on your event theme
  2. Developing an event timeline
  3. Which presenters and resources do you need?
  4. How will learners register for your event?
  5. How can you promote your event? 

Missed last week’s membership webinar? Click here to watch a recording of the webinar – a Festival Information session.

The 15th annual AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival will take place from 1st – 5th March 2021. The theme of this year’s festival is #BetterTogether. This celebration of adult learning is an opportunity for you to promote your organisation, showcase your learners and connect with your community.

In addition to the festival focused membership webinars, AONTAS is offering support to members through:

  • A 50 euro voucher that can be raffled to learners a part of your online event. Please note that we have a limited number of vouchers available so this will be offered on a first come first served basis. For more information please contact Katie O’Rourke, Head of Communications, AONTAS, [email protected]
  • The Festival Communications Toolkit (click here to download)

When you organise a festival event, please remember to submit it to the One Step Up calendar (events must be free of charge) which will be visible to a national audience. AONTAS will then promote across our social media channels.

Submit your event to the One Step Up Calendar

AONTAS Programme of Events
As part of the Adult Learners’ Festival, AONTAS has collaborated with organisations nationally and internationally to deliver an interesting calendar of events. We encourage you, our AONTAS members, to attend these events where possible and share them with your networks including learners on your programmes. Please see further information and links to registration below. 
Monday, 1st March

Learners as Leaders: Developing Democracy through Change-Oriented Community Education in Ireland
This workshop will showcase the Learners as Leaders change-orientated adult learning methodology, the Irish model of community education, and learner voice activities. 
Who should attend? Adult educators, practitioners, academics, learners, policy makers and providers
Time: 9.30am – 12.00pm

Tuesday, 2nd March

National FET Learner Forum
The National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum is a platform where learners can share their experience of learning. 
Who should attend? FET Learners from Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (ETB)
Time: 11.00am – 12.15pm

Wednesday, 3rd March
Adult and Community Education in Northern Ireland: An AONTAS Collaboration
This event will provide a space for practitioners in Northern Ireland to share their experiences during COVID-19, outline barriers faced in the adult learning sector, build new relationships and learn from peers. 
Who should attend? Adult and community education groups in Northern Ireland (practitioners/educators)
Time: 10.30am – 12.00pm
Paulo Freire Centenary – Celebration (1921 – 2021)
This event will commemorate the centenary since Paulo Freire’s birth in 1921. AONTAS is hosting the event in collaboration with the Paulo Freire Institute of Portugal. The event offers a space to learn about Freire and discuss the impact of his work. 
Who should attend? All welcome
Time: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Adult Learner Wellbeing Webinar
As part of the Festival, we will host this fun and informative look at how sport psychology can help learners and tutors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key speakers include Dr. Paul Gaffney (Sport Ireland Institute) and Finola Colgan (Mental Health Ireland). 
Who should attend? All are welcome
Time: Streamed on social media from 1pm-2pm and available afterwards to use as a resource.


Thursday, 4th March
STAR Awards Celebration
The first online AONTAS STAR Award celebration will be hosted by Colm O’Regan Comedian, bestselling author and broadcaster. Attendees will have an opportunity celebrate adult learning together in this fun interactive event.

Who should attend? STAR Awards shortlisted projects
Time: 11.00am – 12.30pm
Friday, 5th March 
Policy Day – A Shared Vision for Educational Equality 
This policy event will bring members of the Network for Adult Learning Across Borders (NALAB) – Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales – together to discuss our shared vision for educational equality and explore the variety of approaches taken by each in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Who should attend? All welcome
Time: 11.00am – 1.00pm

Visit Festival Webpage

For more details on how to get involved in the 2021 Festival, please contact AONTAS Head of Communications, Katie O’Rourke: [email protected].

Don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest updates!