From education to employment

Institute for Adult Learning to spearhead capability building of the Training and Adult Education Sector

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To do so, IAL will be designated as the National Centre of Excellence for Adult Learning

The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) will now be responsible for systematically raising the quality of adult teaching and adult learning across the Training and Adult Education (TAE) Sector. On the second day of the inaugural Global Lifelong Learning Summit, Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing, announced that, to this end, IAL shall be designated as a National Centre of Excellence for Adult Learning (NCAL).

This is an expansion of IAL’s current role as a training centre and qualifier for adult educators for private training providers. It builds on the capabilities and networks that IAL has developed since its establishment in 2008 in andragogical research, enterprise engagement, and international collaboration. 

As the NCAL, IAL will anchor capabilities and raise the quality of Training & Adult Education in Singapore. It will:

  • Raise the quality of adult educators through continuous education and in collaboration with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and training providers;
  • Attract and enable leading industry professionals to contribute to adult education in their field;
  • Drive innovation and technology adoption for the sector, and equip adult educators with needed digital skills;
  • Conduct research to inform policy and practice in continuous education and facilitate the translation of such research into methods, resources, and tools for adoption and scaling across the TAE ecosystem, and;
  • Support the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning network by advancing the theory and practice of workplace learning, including the provision of training and consultancy for companies.

IAL intends to achieve these objectives by tapping the knowledge and strengths that have been built up in different institutions and organisations over the years. It will forge partnerships across the local TAE ecosystem so that such capabilities are collectively shared and advanced. (See Annex A for existing collaborations, which will be deepened and expanded.) IAL will also continue to deepen its international networks, to enable Singapore’s lifelong learning ecosystem to tap into the best research and scholarship from across the world.  

Mr Tan Kok Yam, Chief Executive of SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), said,

“We will invest more to raise the quality of lifelong learning. Courses and programmes should engage the adult learner, build on his existing experience, and give him the confidence to apply new skills. IAL, as the Centre of Excellence for adult learning, will engage institutions and organisations in our ecosystem to share knowledge and expertise; build on what we have; and collectively bring practice, research and scholarship on adult education to the next level. IAL will strive to strengthen our international partnerships, to learn from others and in turn contribute to the global discourse on lifelong learning.”

Professor Lee Wing On, IAL’s Executive Director, said,

“We are honoured to have the opportunity and mandate to step up and do more for the TAE sector, which will, in turn, lead to strengthening the learning ecosystem in Singapore. Together with our partners, IAL will take the lead in supporting adults to develop their knowledge and skillsets that will enable them to enhance their individual capacities, progress within their line of work, and keep pace with the changing market conditions.”

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