Education was always a two-way situation for me. I loved learning and gaining knowledge but being in school and being around people, thinking that their opinion mattered more than mine, brought me away from something I enjoyed. Being hit with a ruler for a slight mistake brought about a fear in me.
I grew up in a disadvantaged way of life, which meant you worked so hard to make it but you’d burn yourself out in time or you gave up, ended up pregnant young, or in a low paid job or worse - on a social welfare payment. In school I was in the lowest class. Anyone that was poor, had single parents, disabled or foreign was in the low class.
I was not born here and growing up with a foreign surname, instead of feeling welcomed we were made feel we didn't belong. It wasn't a feeling I brought upon myself or made up, it was the name calling, being left out, being isolated and not being allowed to be involved or feeling my life didn't matter.
“I started to stand my ground and said education was for me and education was for everyone… I brought myself out of myself and saw who I really was.”
As I grew, I opened up and learned. I started to understand and put so much education into myself. I started doing small courses, what I could do. I brought myself out of myself and saw who I really was, which I already knew but my confidence was so hard hit that I withdrew from society. I started to stand my ground and said education was for me and education was for everyone. It isn't a social class separation situation. No age applies (you are never too old to learn). It comes in different languages and it's a common basic essential need for everyone.
“Education is something we use in everyday life, whether it’s calculating bills and shopping, seeing how our planet works, meeting people and learning about other countries, baking, making, reading and writing. Learning gets used in many different ways.”
Education is something we use in everyday life, whether it’s calculating bills and shopping, seeing how our planet works, meeting people and learning about other countries, baking, making, reading and writing. Learning gets used in many different ways.
I done my level 7 in women studies, gender equality and social justice and saw how it was so important for women to gain that respect for equality.
Education is a source of what our bodies need, it’s healthy and makes us thrive. Physical, intellectual, language, emotional and spiritual/social education are needed to grow, learn and communicate.
As my children get older I work to support them through this too and so they can live as much of a healthy, happy life as possible. If my experience can inspire in any way then I would like to share this and be there to help others in any way I could.
Thinking of returning to education as an adult? You may find the following resources helpful:
One Step Up: https://www.onestepup.ie/
Fetch Courses: https://www.fetchcourses.ie/
Ronanstown Women's Community Development Project: https://www.facebook.com/rwcdp/
Learn more about the Learners as Leaders programme and the European Agenda for Adult Learning on our EU Projects webpage.