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New Report on Community-Based Adult Ed

New Report on Community-Based Adult Ed
Date: 21 Mar 2012

Over 100 people attended the recent launch of an important research report ‘The Social Value of Community-Based Adult Education in Limerick City’. The report, commissioned by Limerick City Adult Education Service, Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN), and Limerick Regeneration Agency, was carried out by a research team from the Sociology Dept. at the University of Limerick.


The report deals with the social benefits of community-based adult education for learners, their families, communities and wider society. Launching the report in the Southill Area Centre, Minister of State, Dept. of Environment, Community & Local Government, Jan O’Sullivan TD, emphasized the importance of community-based adult classes in the city: “there is a need to measure these things to show their value and then ensure they're supported". The Minister continued: “Adult education gives people the opportunity to learn. Doing it in their own community is a vital element. Once you take the first step, endless opportunities await you. It's not all about what you learn, it's about who you meet, the connections you make, the impact on your community."

Patricia Neville, one of the research team, explained how the research findings supported the view that there are important social benefits from community-based adult education. “These include better communication within families, improved mental health and well-being, in addition to changing people’s view of education for the better”, she said.  Patricia also described how community-based adult education has resulted in increased social awareness of issues in the community and encouraged opportunities for cross community activities.
 

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Pictured above at the launch of the report, standing L to R: Declan Blackett, Limerick Regeneration Agencies, Helen Fitzgerald, PAUL Partnership, Patricia Neville and Maria O’Dwyer, researchers and Jimmy Prior, LCEN.  Sitting L to R: Mary Flannery, LCAES, Anita Martin, LCAES, Minister Jan O’Sullivan TD, Yvonne Lane, City of Learning Steering Group and Lorraine Markham LCAES.

James McCarthy, an adult learner from Southill, spoke about his own experience of community-based adult education and highlighted how it could bring communities together and support people to work with local schools. “I hope my experience can further my education and open doors for others in my community”, he said.

Download a copy of the report by clicking here.