The new Adult Education Facility provided for the people of Ballymun by CDETB was officially opened by Ciarán Cannon TD, Minister of State for Training and Skills on Tuesday 12th November, 2013.
The launch was an opportunity to display the wealth of educational opportunities on offer to the local and wider community. Minister Canon remarked on how the transformation of the building has brought new life to the community. This building had been left vacant when the senior part of the Ballymun Comprehensive second level school relocated to premises across the road. He congratulated the Adult Education Service for refurbishing the building and creating a modern hub of adult learning.
In her speech Adult Education Officer Celia Rafferty said ‘Our students range in age from 17 years to 80 plus. We are lucky to have a great mix and balance of both men and women attending the centre who hail from a variety of backgrounds. We have students from diverse ethnic communities, students with varying degrees of educational attainment ranging from the very basic literacy learner to the learner preparing to move to third level and everyone in between. There is no such thing as a “typical” learner in the AES Ballymun’. Her speech was followed by a moving testimonial from one student who described the impact that participating in the service had had on their lives.
Celia and the staff of the Adult Education Service took the Minister and guests on guided tours of the facility and introduced them to students. The Minister was particularly impressed with the art and crafts that were exhibited on the day. The art was produced by students attending CDETB Community Education classes in a range of centres including: Artane Coolock Resource and Development Centre – Family Resource Centre; Whitehall Active Retirement Association; Active Retirement Group Drumcondra; Ballymun Adult Read and Write Scheme/AES; Artane Active Retirement Group; Aoibhneas and Ballymun Men’s Centre.
True to the spirit of the adult education experience the space in the facility has been designed to maximise the social interaction between staff, students and visitors with allocated social and educational spaces for both one-to-one’s and groups. The building includes two separate self contained services. Ballymun Youthreach on one side and the Adult Education Service on the other. The Whitehall School Completion Programme (SCP) is also housed in the Adult Education side of the building.
The Adult Education facility contains two computer rooms, five classrooms (each equipped with interactive whiteboard and wifi) an exhibition space, a tutor resource room, office space and a guidance information library offering educational guidance advice and information to the public.
The Adult Education Guidance Service, also based in the building, provides a quality, professional, person centred adult guidance service which empowers individuals to make informed choices about their educational and personal goals in a supportive and encouraging environment.
The building also houses the regional office for the wider area which includes four adult literacy schemes located in Ballymun, Coolock, Kilbarrack and Donaghmede. Community Education is provided in the entire area which covers: Artane, Ayrefield, Ballymun, Beaumont, Coolock, Darndale, Donaghmede, Drumcondra, Edenmore, Harmonstown, Kilbarrack, Kilmore, Priorswood, Raheny, Santry and Whitehall. The Ballymun facility also is home to the City of Dublin Workplace Education Unit, courses are arranged citywide both to public and private companies.
The Forever Young Chorus performed at the opening and contributed enormously to everyone’s enjoyment. Established in 2007 and managed and funded by CDETB Adult Education Service, this singing group is created by and for older people. The group, comprising thirty nine senior citizens from the Finglas area, perform covers of rock, punk and other modern pop songs. The group has taken part in up to fifty public performances and serves as a flagship for the Adult Education Service.
Jacinta Stewart CEO, CDETB spoke about her pride in this dynamic hub of learning created by the Adult Education Service. She thanked the Minister, visiting dignitaries, families and students for attending the opening and congratulated Celia and her team for organising a very special and enjoyable event.
For more information contact: CDETB Education Service, Ballymun Road, Ballymun, Dublin 11. (01) 8623 828