To improve and promote adult learning in the South East Region of New Brunswick.
In 2006, the Provincial Government recommended that boards/committees be formed across the province to administer and monitor the General Educational Development (GED) and literacy programs. It was hoped that more local involvement would help bolster these programs and lead to higher literacy scores in the province. The South East Regional Adult Learning Board (SERALB) was formed in the southeast area of the province. This board administers the GED and literacy programs for all English-speaking adults in the region bounded by Richibucto, Petitcodiac and the New Brunswick provincial boundary in the south.
SERALB incorporated in December 2007, developed a mission statement, and a constitution. The following year we applied for and were granted charitable status by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Each year, as required by the CRA and the province, financial statements are provided to the CRA to retain our charitable status and to the provincial government for monitoring purposes. We have established ourselves to be a very financially responsible board.
We have full-time and part-time classes covering our region. We even offer, through the co-operation of New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety, a class in the Southeast Regional Correction Centre in Shediac. This year we opened an evening class located in the NBCC facility on Mountain Road. New classes are formed as the need arises. The funding for SERALB operations comes from the Province of New Brunswick through the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Employment and Continuous Learning Services Branch. The board is given money for teacher salaries and classroom and administrative expenses but is not provided rent money for space. We rely on space being provided at no charge by the community.
Digital Literacy is offered on a regular basis in all classes. The program provides basic computer skills to help our students enter or re-enter the workplace.
We also have a co-operative agreement to work with the Workplace Essential Skills (WES) program in the area. The WES program concentrates on assisting businesses by teaching necessary workplace skills to their employees.
Our primary challenge is to make more students aware of what we offer and encourage them to join a class. There is no charge for a student to attend a class and some financial help may be available through Employment Development or Social Development.
To celebrate our GED graduates each year we have a graduation recognition evening with the graduates and their families in attendance. This is an open event where we can applaud the work accomplished by our students and present each one with a certificate to go along with the diploma received from the Province of New Brunswick. The date for this year’s graduation is posted under Upcoming Events on the website.