Day Two of the AONTAS Adult Learners' Festival: today we participated in the Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN) launch of website and celebration of work. Here are our impressions (following the initial explanation of our attempts and impressions of Day One):
Doubtlessly, the stars of Monday were adult learning initiatives. Today’s focus was the community (from which initiatives are stemming and where mutual learning is flourishing). I was amazed by the democratic citizenship skills that could be sensed behind endeavours of the day and of Limerick’s ordinary life. And when complaining about the fact that sometimes in our country we are still learning about the real meaning of democracy, an especially, on how it should be practiced, I was told that once you really know what you want, you go for it. Want and act – not only as an individual, but as a whole – a community. The Limmerick communities wanted a peaceful (free of crime) but proactive environment and they made it true – also with the help of adult education.
From communities to the LCN network from there to AONTAS that takes care of the link to the national and international scene – through EU projects and especially, through the implementation of the European Agenda on Adult Learning. My interlocutors spoke about being ‘tribal’, very Irish … – nothing wrong with that! It obviously means strength, concentration, a sense of belonging ... But it is also important to be open, to interact, exchange ... We could experience both yesterday with Jim and his ladies – all devoted to bringing power and joy to Limerick’s communities and their everyday life.
Their approaches to get people into learning and education are simply great! They visit them at home, ask them about their learning needs and interests, invite them into focus groups etc. – all for getting as good information of the learners’ needs as possible. Certainly something worth considering …
Simona and Neja
It was said that LCEN was a »glue« to stick together community education in Limerick City and when we were openly accepted and discussed with everybody in Limerick we could also feel the enthusiasm! Launching LCEN's website was a great opportunity to gather learners, people and stakeholders in adult learning and it was a great promotional value added and covered also by a local media.
In Slovenia, we will definitely consider doing the same in the future. In discussion with Catherine Aylmer (LCEN) I was curious about the platform for the website. In Slovenia we started using WordPress instead custom built Content Management System, LCEN is using Wix. Setting up the website is not a onetime event but a processes, similar to lifelong learning: there is always room for development!
On our second day in Ireland the warm hospitality of the Irish friends suspiciously continues. Indeed, each and every speaker in each and every institution or on each and every event is mentioning our group with kindest words. We’re not used to that. Not to this extent. So my guess is that they have never seen so many Slovenians at once, as there are a dozen of us. I believe the most Slovenians they have seen until now is eleven, as there are players in the football team.