Ms. Ayessa Marie Velasquez, Coordinator of the Ateneo de Davao Academy of Lifelong Learning (ADD-ALL), attended the international conference titled “Meeting the Emerging Needs of Adult Learning Professionals” at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada, last 9-20 July 2018. Including Ms. Velasquez, only thirty applicants were accepted into the conference out of around eighty applicants from different schools in the Philippines. Globally, Canada leads in the field of lifelong learning and adult education.

Conducted through partnership between the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the conference also discussed the collaborative “Adult Education Training Program: Inclusive and Responsive Programs Empowering Adult and Lifelong Learners.” The program means to gather “measurable improvements in adult learning” by giving its participants “contextual background, theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and best practices” that would help them conceptualize and implement “effective instructional strategies and curriculum.” Through this program, the thirty selected faculty from the Philippines will be able to “identify the niche and specific clientele of their adult education program,” and “develop/improve syllabi and curriculum for the specific adult education program.”

Part of the conference was a professional tour around the many different schools and colleges in the area, including George Brown College and Seneca College, where the participants performed benchmarking and learned these schools and colleges’ best practices for use in their own schools. There were also extensive talks and panel discussions with leading figures in adult education, discussing the current trends in the field as well as the commercial aspect of lifelong learning. The participants also joined in group activities designed to help them develop instructional designs and curriculum frameworks for their own adult learning courses back home.

“Lifelong learning enriches life for all,” Ms. Velasquez said, after her return to the Philippines, remarking on the purpose and goals of the ADD-ALL program. “[ADD-ALL] inspires, engages, and enables our adult learners to achieve their goals, and we want them to have the skills to enhance their personal development, we want to get them to become active citizens, and we want them to improve their employability.”

The ADD-ALL program is the new, affordable, and exciting academy offered by the Ateneo de Davao University for learners aged twenty-five and above.  ADD-ALL offers both professional and personal development tracks comprising non-degree short courses for adult learners. These short courses feature fun classes that will help people learn new skills, develop new hobbies, and meet new friends. The program also integrates technopreneurship into selected courses to help learners earn from their passions through creating start-up business models for new ventures. Classes had begun on 9 June 2018.

ADD-ALL courses on offer this July for the second batch of adult learners include Floristry, Basic Polymer Molding, Terrarium and Aerarium 101, Web Design, Swimming for Adults, Pencil Portraiture, Basic AutoCAD, Basic Portrait Photography, Building Electrical Wiring, Accounting for Non-accountants, and High Impact Business Communication.   The first batch of courses offered in June included Swimming, Floristry, Basic Makeup, Acrylic Painting, and Creative Writing.

Interested applicants may reach ADD-ALL through their Facebook (www.facebook.com/lifelonglearningaddu), Twitter (www.twitter.com/addu_all), email (lifelonglearning@addu.edu.ph), or landline (082-221-2411 local 8296). Applicants may also visit the ADD-ALL office located at the Office of the President, G/F Canisius Hall, Ateneo de Davao University, Jacinto Campus.