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LCAES’s ‘Limerick City Adult Learner Forum’ Shines at National Event

Date: 15 Nov 2011

The 2nd Adult Learners' Forum of Ireland (ALFI) meeting supported by Aontas took place on October 26th in the Ashling Hotel, and despite the horrendous weather of the previous days, fifty learners from across the country gathered to discuss and hear about Local Adult Learner Forums.
The two main inputs for the morning session came from real-life experience of how Adult Learner Forums work and what they do. Our own Aishling Ryan from the LCAES Limerick City Adult Learners' Forum spoke on how our Forum came about, how we work, what actions we have carried out and our future plans.
Aisling Ryan spoke passionately about her experience of being part of the Limerick City Adult Learner Forum:
“I enjoy being part of the forum with a common goal and purpose. It is worth it, we are making a difference for learners in centres particularly when we are learners in classes in these centres ourselves. We have achieved a lot but still have a lot more to accomplish, we want our names/forum to be recognised by all tutors/learners and coordinators but that only happens with time and perseverance and continually speaking and letting the relevant people know who you are-the learners.”
She also had advice for other groups hoping to develop a forum:
“I hope you see the benefits of a forum and that many more are formed in various parts of the country, without a voice there will be no learning from each other or a support structure. Good luck with plans in the future and I hope our own Limerick Forum has shown how as a group we can work but there will always be a lot of work to do.”
Also at the event, John Gates, one of the founders of the Global Learners' Network, spoke about the development of Learner Forums in Wales, focussing on the ‘Nine Steps for Wales’, from the individual returning to education, to becoming an advocate for Adult and Community Education, right up to participation at the Global Adult Learners' Network.
John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, officially launched "Hearing the Adult Learner Voice: A Toolkit for creating a Local Adult Learner Forum" and delivered the keynote address, delighting participants with his input on the role of education and the power of positive thinking in bringing about change in society.
 
Pictured at the event: Learner Ambassador for Ireland, Una Buckley, Aisling Ryan from the Limerick City Adult Learner Forum and John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, who officially launched ‘Hearing the Adult Learner Voice: A Toolkit for creating a Local Adult Learner Forum’ at the event.