New BCFE president is looking forward to role

By Maurice Garvey

THE new President of Ballyfermot College of Further Education Cecilia Munro is keen to entice more people from the local community into the college.

Ms Munro officially started the role on May 7, taking over the reins from outgoing President Maureen Conway, who retired after 22 years as head of BCFE.

Cecilia Munro 1

Cecilia Munro was appointed President of Ballyfermot College of Further Education

Speaking to The Echo, Ms Munro said she was looking forward to getting to know staff in the campus, but stated one of her aims is to get more people involved from the community “even if it is just a step-up.”

A background in further education and training for 28 years, Munro is a big advocate for people to “build on learning blocks” but acknowledges students “don’t have to have a degree to be successful”.

Munro is Chair of the National Apprenticeship Advisory Committee to the board of SOLAS.

Her Further Education experience as a teacher, in training and middle management, also extends to national level and policy-making – through consultation in Governmental reform agendas, including Apprenticeship Review, Traineeship, PLC Review, SOLAS FET Strategy 2014-2019, and FET Strategy 2 currently being developed.

“Further Education and Training is the key to life long success and is the first choice for many Leaving Certificate students today either through PLC, apprenticeships or traineeships, the majority of which are vocationally based,” said Ms Munro.

“It allows the student to build on learning blocks to move through basic skills roles to advanced or supervisory roles. It also allows the student to use their FET qualification as progression to further or higher education. Every year over

20 per cent of students use their FET qualification to access a third-level course. Many third-level students who do not thrive within the higher education sector turn to FET for a lifelong employability or progression solution.”

Another area Munro is a big believer in is the “need to teach people skills across different platforms.”

“Students today need transversal skills for life,” she said.

“FET teaches students these skills which provide solid building blocks for developing a students’ employment and lifestyle future. Skills such as communications, teamworking, work experience preparation and development, including development of numeracy and literacy capacity are central to all FET courses.”

Prior to moving to BCFE, Munro was the acting Deputy Principal in Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute.

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