Over 50 learners from Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) convened at a regional meeting of the National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum recently. The meeting took place at the FET Centre, Kilmallock Road Campus and involved learners from a variety of FET provision offered by LCETB.
The National FET Learner Forum is a collaborative effort between AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation; SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority; and Education and Training Boards (ETBs).This meeting is one of a series of regional meetings which will take place across the country this year.
Ireland is leading the way in making a commitment to learner voice with the establishment of a National FET Learner Forum. As a learner-centred form of provision, SOLAS is striving to make Further Education and Training responsive to learner needs. This Forum acts as a way for learners to directly influence FET provision. Their suggestions for improvement will result in a clear outline of recommendations, which AONTAS will share directly with policy makers and ETBs.
Speaking about Tuesday’s Forum, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: “The Forum provides FET learners from Limerick and Clare with the opportunity to have their voices heard, and to help shape further education at local, regional and national level. AONTAS believes that learners are experts of their own learning; they can identify what is working and what improvements are needed to ensure learner success, retention and progression. We look forward to using the deliberations from this Forum in supporting SOLAS and ETBs in creating a world-class FET system that is learner-centred.”
Triona Lynch, FET Manager with responsibility for provision in LCETB, said: “It has been fantastic to see so many learners from across Limerick and Clare coming together to share their experience of LCETB. We place huge importance on strengthening the voice of the learner in their lifelong learning journey, so we can listen to them and keep providing the highest standards of education across the region.”