Portlaoise Further Education Centre held a number of events throughout Adult Learners Festival, February 22 to 26, with awards ceremonies taking place all week and students getting the opportunity to share their experiences of adult education.
On Tuesday morning the centre was busy presenting awards at QQI level 2-4 for students who attended day time courses throughout 2015 in Portlaoise Further Education Centre and also outreach centres in Abbeyleix and Stradbally.
Students received certificates in maths, communications, managing personal finances and personal effectiveness. There were also a number of IT awards, including QQI level 2 introduction to IT, QQI level 3 digital media, word-processing and internet skills.
A number of people from other countries also received QQI certificates in English as a second language.
After the morning ceremony light refreshments were given in the canteen which was bustling with chat and laughter.
On Tuesday evening there was a small awards ceremony for those who attended Skills for Work evening programmes. Students received QQI level 3 certificates in internet skills and spreadsheets.
To mark Aontas Adult Learning Festival week, all students currently attending the Employment Skills programme were given the opportunity to meet those graduating and to hear their inspirational stories and experiences of adult education.
Over the two days students spoke about the benefits of returning to education and getting the chance to upskill. Some students had left school before Inter Certificate and were delighted to get the opportunity to do a course. Others have their Leaving Certificate but needed to brush up on their skills.
People spoke about the small class sizes and how friendly and supportive the tutors are which made learning easy.
Kathleen Dunne, adult literacy organiser, praised all the students for their commitment throughout the year and credits the dedicated team in Portlaoise Further Education who work hard to ensure learners are looked after.
“Our tutors advertise the Further Education Centre, they are the friendly faces of the service and ensure everyone is looked after,” she said.