Education programmes shortlisted for awards

By Aura McMenamin

THREE Tallaght-based education programmes have been shortlisted for an award recognising the work of adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland.

The AONTAS STAR Awards organised by the national adult learning organisation, AONTAS, recognise and celebrate the work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland.

An Cosan 12

An Cosán, the further education centre in Jobstown, was shortlisted for two programmes: Digital Pathways and the University of the Third Age, while the Dublin Dun Laoghaire Education Training Board (ETB) is being recognised for its Career Preparation Course.

An Cosán’s Digital Pathways initiative supports individuals from disadvantaged communities in accessing IT and employability workshops. The community-based centre’s University of the Third Age is for people aged 55 and over and promotes active ageing and active citizenship, through physical activities, mental wellbeing and skills sharing.

The Dublin Dun Laoghaire ETB has education centres across Dublin including Tallaght, Lucan and Clondalkin.

Its Career Preparation Course supports adults who are about to lose their job through providing training in IT, communication skills, personal development, CV building, interview skills and education guidance.

Inchicore-based RADE has also been shortlisted for its programme which engages drug users with the arts and therapeutic supports and to provide a platform for their artistic expression. Areas of training and expression are drama, art, creative writing, and filmmaking.

The 12th annual awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 5 in  the Royal College of Physicians where the winners will be announced.

The awards form part of the programme of events of AONTAS’ annual Adult Learners’ Festival. The theme of this year’s festival is #LoveLifelongLearning.

Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: “The STAR awards are an opportunity to celebrate the positive contribution that adult education initiatives make to individual adult learners, local communities and wider society.

“The quality of nominations was exceptional, resulting in a highly competitive process, and the impact these four South Dublin education programmes have on the social, cultural and economic development of its local area was evident to see and we’re delighted to have such wonderful initiatives shortlisted for a STAR award.”

The University of the Third Age and Career Preparation and the RADE programme were nominated in the ‘Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Wellbeing’ category, while Digital Pathways was nominated in the 'Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Digital Inclusion' category.

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