12 Dec Adult literacy specialists – an endangered species??
Despite the fact that LLN is universally acknowledged as a vital underpinning skill for adults in all walks of life, it appears that qualified adult LLN teachers are becoming very hard to find. Specialist graduate qualifications in adult literacy/numeracy will not be offered by any university in Australia from 2020 and only by a small number of RTO’s primarily in an online mode. Where will the adult LLN specialists of the future come from?
In the past, several universities offered a Graduate Diploma in Adult Literacy or Adult Basic Education either face to face or online. Now, only a small number of RTOs around the country are offering the TAE80113, the Graduate Diploma in Adult LLN Practice from the TAE Training Package. These numbers are shrinking and their future is under threat as institutions move to rationalise and cut costs. The removal of the qualification from the skills list and VET Student Loans eligibility is a major factor in this decline.
This national depletion of capability in the adult literacy/numeracy field is extremely serious. Whilst all VET trainers now hold TAELLN411 (made compulsory by ASQA recently), this unit is clearly identified as merely an awareness unit, and does not qualify holders as literacy specialists. All trainers enrolled in this awareness unit are required to consult an adult literacy expert, as part of their assessment. Where will these experts be found in the future?