Colchester Adult Learning Association offers new programs focused on digital literacy – Saltwire

Colchester residents can now register for free courses to help develop digital and professional skills.
The Colchester Adult Learning Association (CALA) held an open house Sept. 8 to meet with government and community partners, as well as potential students, regarding changes made to its fall 2022 programming.

A community-based organization, CALA seeks to educate and provide opportunities by teaching free programs to adult learners in Colchester County. One area being focused on is the need for digital literacy education.

Mary Teed, the executive director at CALA, noted that the COVID pandemic brought to light the lack of digital literacy training in the area.

“A lot of folks don’t have the knowledge, experience or even the language around using technology,” said Teed. “Then there are those folks who are looking to develop basic skills so they can survive in the digital world.”

In order to accommodate this need, CALA has introduced several courses that focus on computer skills. This includes courses that teach digital literacy and online safety.

Another driver for the change in courses comes from the Nova Scotia School of Adult Learning (NSSAL). Courses offered by CALA follow the curriculum laid out by the NSSAL, which has regulated adult curriculums province-wide so that the skills taught by CALA’s programs are more readily transferable.

“We know that people are much more transient than they were in the past,” Teed explained. “So now they would have the same experience.”

Other programs being offered include a 12-week GED course for adults seeking their high school equivalency. It also offers to teach students how to develop good study habits and how to interact with online spaces. CALA also offers math, communications and essential skills courses.

CALA also has essential skills classes that are promoted as a way for adults with intellectual and cognitive challenges to develop skills for work and life. This includes literacy, numeracy, technological practice and problem solving.

Clayton Daury and Anna Martin, case workers with the Aboriginal Peoples Training and Employment Commission (APTEC), were invited to the open house to discuss possible strategies in adult education. As part of the Native Council of Nova Scotia, APTEC is an outreach program targeted towards Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal Peoples of Nova Scotia to help them find long-standing employment.

Daury finds that programs offered by institutions such as CALA can help people get their foot in the door, whether it be with subjects like digital literacy or in obtaining their GED.

“The open house today is bringing together partners in various different areas to make a network of organizations and partnerships that can actually aid in benefiting any individual that comes through the CALA courses that are offered here,” Daury stated.

For Martin, access to adult education provides opportunities for those that had been unable to complete high school.

“High school is not a place for everyone,” she said. “It’s just good to have these resources available to people who do not have them.”

Registration is currently open for all of CALA’s courses. A list of available programs can be found on their website. For information on programs or to register, CALA can be reached by phone at 902-895-2468 or by email at [email protected] For information on the Aboriginal Peoples Training and Employment Commission, visit the Native Council of Nova Scotia website at
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