Low enrolment delays adult education program

Adult education classes at Fort Frances High School will be put on hold for a semester after only a handful of people signed up Thursday night.
Classes were slated to begin Tuesday (Oct. 15), but program organizer Mark Kowalchuk said only a marginal number of people had signed up so none of the courses could be offered at this time.
“It’s discouraging but not devastating,” Kowalchuk said Friday morning. “Probably the greatest interest has been in the G.E.D. [high school equivalency] course.
“The automobile basics for women might have enough people to go,” Kowalchuk had said last night. But after registration closed, it was clear they wouldn’t have enough to offer that course, either.
The program intended to offer everything from introduction to photography and Web Page design for novices to high school math and English courses.
While low enrolment meant the cancellation of the classes planned for this semester, Kowalchuk stressed the program is far from over.
“We will get things going and be up and ready for earlier in the school year,” he said. “We can’t get discouraged by this.”
A short registration period was cited as one of the reasons for the low enrolment but organizers had wanted to get the classes started as soon as possible so they would be completed well before Christmas.
While the numbers may not be high now, Kowalchuk said he was sure they would rise by January.
“The people we’ve spoken to are definitely interested,” he remarked. “We’ve had telephone inquiries about almost all of them from people.”
Perhaps holding registration earlier in the year might help boost enrolment.
“People out there already have commitments or are getting ready for Christmas, but January tends to be a slower month,” Kowalchuk noted.
He also said organizers would consider making presentations before various groups to make the public more aware of the new program.
“Next time, we are going to go out to the community and going to places such as Sister Kennedy Centre and get the word out,” he said, adding the high school also is looking for any input from the public about classes they feel should be offered.
Despite the poor turnout this time, Kowalchuk still firmly believes the public is interested in the adult education program and that it will be on track for next semester.
“We will persevere and we will move forward,” he vowed.

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