Community Education – at the heart of community

A very successful community education seminar was held in Letterkenny on Thursday 10th December and attended by 90+ community education providers across Donegal. The theme of the seminar, which was organised by the adult & further education service, was “Community Education – at the heart of community” and speakers included 3 women who have participated in courses and classes which are funded by Donegal ETB and organised by local community groups in Inishowen, Downstrands and Mevagh. The keynote speaker was Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, former Director of the Centre for Educational Disadvantage in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, founder member of An Cosán Community Education Project in West Tallaght and leading marriage equality campaigner. Dr. Gilligan spoke of the importance of community and of the language of poverty and disadvantage; of the lessons she had learned from the marriage equality campaign; and of the importance of listening to the people for whom opportunities in education are being provided. A presentation was given by Liz Waters and Amanda Slevin on An Cosán’s virtual community college which will provide on-line courses and Cróna Gallagher. AEO with Donegal ETB, gave an overview of this year’s ETB community education programme which has supported 460 courses across the county. The annual seminar is also an opportunity for community groups from all across Donegal to meet and share their experiences.