The Committee on Continuing and Community Education under Dr. Ron Faris of the B.C. Department of Education was active in the Fall of 1976.
A background paper entitled "Helping to Develop a Provincial and Community Education Policy" was circulated and the public invited to respond. Public meetings were held throughout the province in October and briefs were submitted to the Chairman of the committee.
Where does ABE fit into this picture? For the first time in its history, the Department of Education sponsored an ABE Workshop in cooperation with UBC Centre for Continuing Education and the Adult Education Research Centre. The Workshop was designed to provide professional development for administrators and coordinators of tile variety of ABE programs in public education institutions.
After opening remarks by Dr. Ron Faris, the keynote address was given by Audrey Thomas of World Literacy of Canada. After the address, the eighty delegates broke into reaction groups to identify and clarify issues and concerns. On the second day, two sessions of three concurrent workshops were held on the following topics: Training Adult Basic Educators; Evaluating ABE programs, and Implementing ABE. The workshop leaders were Nora Boyer, Douglas College and Barbara Bowmar, Langley School District; David Harrison, Malaspina College and Betty Cameron, Vancouver Community College, respectively. They were aided in their presentations by resource people such as Dr. Jim Thornton of UBC, Dr. Michael Colbert of Oregon State University, Dr. Gary Dickinson, East Kootenay Community College and Michael Clague, Britannia Community Centre. Dr. Wayne Schroeder, Florida State University and Visiting professor at UBC summed up the workshop and gave food for thought in the final plenary session.
The following points were stressed throughout the workshop:
Of the 10 concerns which were prioritize by the delegates, the top three were.
Wayne Schroeder in his summation, suggested that a concentrated effort at the grass roots level combined with additional governmental support, could possibly begin to attack the problem of ABE in B.C. He strongly recommended recruiting, training and utilizing volunteer literacy tutors.
Jim Bray of Cariboo college announced the start-up of an ABE bimonthly Newsletter entitled ABEL Communicator. '(ABEL = Adult Basic Educators' Liaison).
Nora Boyer of Douglas College is under-taking a descriptive survey of ABE (0-12) in the province. Nora also has a basic literacy proposal "in the works" with her college.
Okanagan College (Kelowna Division) is hoping to start an adult literacy program possibly using volunteers and cable T.V.
The Department of Education is continuing its involvement in professional development by sponsoring three workshops for ABE instructors at Vernon, Nanaimo and , prince George.
UBC has been holding a series of six weekend workshops from January to April under the general heading "Training for Adult Educators".
(Things are apparently "On The Move" in the "Far West". What's happening in the other provinces)