New AONTAS booklet celebrates experiences of learners

by Gazette Reporter

Dubliners feature in a new booklet celebrating the impact of learners sharing their experiences through the National FET Learner Forum.

National adult learning organisation AONTAS launched the booklet entitled I’m a FET Learner, which features the person stories of 10 people, last month.

From Imani Tutu who attended the first forum event in 2016 to Niamh Becton who took part in a virtual forum in Spring 2020, each individual story shares the impact that taking part has had on the learners. 

The project has become a model learner voice initiative for groups across Europe. Each year over 1,000 FET learners from across Ireland take part.  

Una Buckley, whose adult learning journey with AONTAS began in 2007 when she completed a night course on adult and community education, welcomed and guided attendees through the virtual booklet launch agenda. 

She said: “It’s important that different voices are included. Everybody has to be included; every voice from every background, whether it’s easy to listen to or not. A lot of changes have happened by putting the learner at the centre.”

Niamh Becton is a learner completing an Advanced Social Studies and Advocacy course with Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board. 

She said: “If you’re in any way inclined to go back to education, just do it. It’s very different set up from school and it’s very different from 30 years ago. It’s very much learner led and the support network that tutors give you is unbelievable.”

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