Over seventy guests from across the community and Further Education and Training (FET) sectors were welcomed to the launch of the community education research report ‘Purpose, People, Process: Community Education in Donegal 2018’ today by Anne McHugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB.
The research report, carried out by Dr Liam McGlynn and Jacqi Gage, was commissioned by the Donegal Community Education Forum and the Community Education Support Programme of Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training (FET) Service.
In 2007 the Donegal Community Education Forum investigated the nature of community education within Donegal. Now, some ten years on, a follow-on piece of work has been carried out with the aim of further recognising, promoting and advocating for community education and its resourcing in the county as a transformative educational process within Donegal.
Dr Camilla Fitzsimons, National University, Maynooth, in launching the research, referred to the vibrancy of community education in the county and said ‘Donegal Community Education Forum and Donegal ETB have held firm on the values that place people at the heart of practice which is locally-led, person-centred and participatory.’
The Donegal Community Education Forum is made up of a number of partners including community and voluntary representatives (currently Cairde le Cheile and the Slieve Sneacht Centre), Donegal County Council, Donegal ETB, Donegal Local Development CLG, Donegal Family Resource Centre, Donegal Travellers Project, Donegal Women’s Network, HSE, Inishowen Development Partnership, Intercultural Platform, LYIT, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and Pobal le Cheile.
Speaking on behalf of the Forum, Paul Kernan acknowledged the support and contribution of each member of the Forum in overseeing the research project and in steering community education in the county.
Cróna Gallagher, Donegal ETB’s Director of Further Education and Training (FET), congratulated the Forum on organising the research and said, ‘Community education is an important pillar of the Further Education & Training (FET) sector in Donegal. Time and time again, it has proven its ability to encourage diverse groups of adult learners to avail of a broad range of educational opportunities which are of benefit to them as individuals and to the wider community. In Donegal, it is also an excellent model of how partnership between communities, the voluntary sector and the public sector can work. The community and voluntary sectors deserve great credit for the work they do in this area, organising locally-based courses for almost 5,000 people last year through the ETB’s Community Education Support Programme alone, as well many other programmes and services. The research recommendations will provide direction for the development of a shared vision and a shared strategy for community education in Donegal in the coming years.’
The report is available to download from Donegal ETB’s website at https://www.donegaletb.ie/corporate/publications/ (Other).