The Portlaoise Further Education Centre, Laois & Offaly Education and Training Board recently hosted the sixth and final meeting for the Léargas Grundtvig European Partnership Project ‘How to Educate Learners through Peer Mentoring’. Adult learners and tutors from second chance adult education institutions in Germany, France, Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom visited County Laois from Sunday 11th until Thursday 15th May.
The theme of the Irish meeting was ‘Active Citizenship’ with a particular focus on political engagement and the importance of voting in local, national and European elections. On Monday 12th May visitors were welcomed to the centre by Joe Cunningham, CEO, Tony Dalton, Director of Further Education Services, Kathleen Bennett, Adult Literacy Organiser and Sandra Doyle (Project Co-ordinator, Laois). The EU visitors had the opportunity to witness local politics in action at Laois County Council’s final meeting before the election, where they were also warmly welcomed by Cathaoirleach Mary Sweeney and County Manager Peter Carey.
On Tuesday 13th May EU partners experienced Irish politics at a national level during a visit to Dail Eireann where Minister Flanagan took time out of his busy schedule to greet the visitors. At the end of the Irish meeting Andrea Hein from Germany commented “it was a wonderful opportunity for adult learners to come to Ireland and get an insight into the Irish political system. This whole experience will hopefully give our learners the confidence to find their own voice and become active citizens in their own right”. Throughout the sixth and final meeting project partners participated in digital media and numeracy workshops through peer-mentoring and shared experience, knowledge and best practice with project partners. For further information on this Grundtvig Learning Partnership Project visit www.peer-mentoring.eu.