Learning centre set to achieve standard

Ashburton Learning Centre tutor/ student co-ordinator Joy Thompson.

The Ashburton Learning Centre is upskilling to ensure it meets the growing needs of the Mid Canterbury community.

A greater understanding of neurodiversity and dyslexia in particular has been an important focus for the centre and as a result they are now well on their way to achieving the New Zealand Dyslexia-Friendly Quality Mark (DFQM).

The initiative was developed by Ako Aotearoa, a government-funded organisation that supports tertiary sector teachers, trainers and educators.

Ashburton Learning Centre tutor/student co-ordinator Joy Thompson has been working on the centre’s submission since August.

“There’s a whole raft of standards to meet like policies and the charter that we need to adhere to.”

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols, but does not affect general intelligence, dyslexic people are often highly creative and good at practical work.

To achieve DFQM status the organisation must meet required standards of leadership, quality of teaching, the teaching and learning environment and key stakeholder relationships.

People can go through the educational system without their dyslexia being picked up.

“We had a 19 year old come to the centre – he didn’t know he was dyslexic, with us he managed to get the literacy and numeracy credits which gave him his level two NCEA.

“The sad part is he had developed a few mental health problems and depression, a lot of that has been eased inside him because he now understands what the problem is,” Mrs Thompson said.

After the submission has been received, Ako Aotearoa will make a verification visit to the centre next year.

Once the DFQM status is achieved the centre will have a logo and charter to show they have gained the quality mark.

As well as a providing a welcoming, supportive and inclusive place for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities, the Ashburton Learning Centre also offers a variety of courses including apprenticeship skills, vehicle licence preparation, literacy and numeracy, computing, English and Te Reo classes.

If you would like more information visit: ashburtonlearningcentre.co.nz

~By Daniel Tobin