A newly announced scheme from the government will improve the quality of life for residents of 21,000 care homes in an effort to bring adult education to senior citizens. According to trainingjournal.com, the project has been commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is in the hands of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) is a non-governmental charity with a number of high profile members, including the BBC, universities, local authorities and the Ministry of Defence. The primary aim of the institute is to ‘encourage all adults to continue in learning of all kinds,’ and set to achieve this by setting up events, support networks, publishing texts, and hosting training courses.Of course, the idea of adult education for senior citizens is not new. China has been at the forefront of lifelong learning since the establishment of its Agricultural Broadcast and Television School. Before switching over to a primarily ICT-led scheme, the distance learning institution used radio, TV, video, and audio cassette, to ensure those in rural areas had access to learning materials. The scheme is now an integral provider for older learners in an aging society.The fresh enthusiasm for senior citizen education in the UK is in part due to recent examples of the positive affect it has had when implemented. Tansley House Care Home in Derbyshire has recently won 2009’s NIACE Adult Learners Week after starting an education scheme – resulting with an increase in the levels of health and happiness of the residents.The next step in the scheme is for NIACE to conduct a report into the best models of learning and the extent by which such schemes improve the lives of care home residents. The scheme also has positive benefits for distance learning and the promotion of continuing education for your whole life – which is a great thing at a time when new learning technologies, open content and proposed broadband for everyone is making education even more accessible.
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