CIARÁN Cannon, Minister of State in the Department of Education and Skills recently launched a Community Education position paper ‘Community Education, Enhancing Learning, Fostering Empowerment, Contributing to Civic Society’ in Athlone.
The paper was developed by the Community Education Facilitators Association and presents its views on the way forward for community education. The association consists of personnel employed by local VECs who work with community groups promoting and delivering informal education across the Republic of Ireland.
Chairperson of the Community Education Facilitators Association Nuala O’Brien acted as MC and welcomed everybody to the event and expressed her pleasure at the large attendance with some travelling from as far away as Donegal and Kerry. She especially thanked the representatives of community groups who had come to the launch to exhibit some of their work and to convey to the Minister what community education meant to them as individuals and as groups.
Minister Cannon visited each display, spent time chatting to community representatives and admiring their work.
From Offaly, Belmont Men’s Group showcased the research they have compiled in relation to Belmont and the surrounding areas with some photographs and receipts dating back to the 1880’s.
The Men’s Group are now in the process of compiling a book detailing the history of Belmont.
Ferbane Art Group exhibited a number of their eye catching paintings which included striking landscape and portrait scenes.
Belmont Women’s Group displayed the large range of activities they have undertaken under Community Education, including art, photography, computer training, personal development, ballroom dancing, yoga, floristry and interior design.
Co. Offaly VEC Community Education Service provides programmes in response to local requests in an informal supportive setting where there is no pressure on attaining accreditation or formal assessment.
For further information, please contact Michelle Shanahan, Community Education Facilitator, Co. Offaly VEC on 057 93 49424.