Fifty learners avail of back to education opportunity

Knockanrawley Resource Centre

Fifty learners avail of back to education opportunity
Caitriona Kennyckenny020@hotmail.com@thenationalist

The Knockanrawley Resource Centre (KRC) 2016 presentation of QQI awards took place recently in a lovely warm atmosphere where over fifty learners received their QQI certificates for courses they completed during the year.

Catherine Sharpe, Acting Director of KRC, opened the event and welcomed everyone. “We are delighted to be joined by learners from the Tipperary Education Training Board and members of voluntary management, family members and representatives from our funders Tipperary ETB, which is a testament to the importance of the occasion.”

Trish Power, Training & Education coordinator spoke about how it is very important for people to receive recognition and validation throughout life. “It is programmes like BTEI (Back to Education Initiative) that gives a chance for learners to achieve recognition of their talents. As staff of the Training and Education programme we are very fortunate to witness the growth and development of learners through our programmes.”

Eddie Breen, a learner on the BTEI programme since 2014, shared how he always wanted to complete his Leaving Certificate. Eddie engaged in training and through the horticulture programme and is on target to achieve his goal in 2017. “I’m amazed at the friendships that were formed as a group and how through collaboration with the tutors and learners there was a great sharing of knowledge and this added richness to his learning experience.”

Under our BTEI funding KRC offered horticulture modules to facilitate learners work towards achieving the Major Award. The Major Award is equivalent to a Leaving Certificate standard of education and it was with great pride that coordinator Trish Power presented three QQI Major Awards in Horticulture to Denis Ryan, Ann Marie Teehan and Nora Heffernan.

Training & Education Coordinator Josephine O’ Donnell and John Murphy representing the funders welcomed the KITE learners to the event. KITE is a 40-week part-time programme offering learners the opportunity to return to education in a safe and supportive environment. Thirteen learners received certification under this strand of funding. Six learners achieved the Major Award while all other learners achieved minor awards. Knockanrawley also offers affordable childcare, which allows the learners engage with our programme.

“The learner’s academic achievements are very important, however, it is the holistic nature of the programme that allows participants to reach their full potential,” said Josephine O’ Donnell. “This is all possible by the range of services that KRC offers including: confidence coaching, counselling, addiction services, and domestic violence support.”

John Murphy, representing the funders, remarked that each year he witnesses learners returning to education and following the nine months on the programme the many progression opportunities that are available to them. “Four learners have progressed to further education; two have secured CE schemes, while others have secured main stream employment and volunteering in their communities,” John proudly told the audience.

Sharon Finnan, one of the learners on the programme, shared her story speaking about the diversity of the subjects offered. In particular she highlighted the work experience module and the Personal Effectiveness module as it gave her confidence in her job seeking skills and helped her believe in her own abilities. Sharon has secured 4work in the local Circle of Friends Cancer Support Centre.

Mary Moloney, CE Supervisor together with the Tutor Breda Tuohy presented certificates to learners for the QQI Level 3 IT Skills programme. This programme was jointly funded by the Centre and South Tipperary Development Company and Geri Cullen from the Tipperary ETB, presented the Level 4 QQI ICT Awards.

“We would like to congratulate all learners on their wonderful achievements and take this opportunity to thank the staff of the centre, tutors, voluntary management and volunteers for their support throughout the year,” added Catherine Sharpe, Acting Director of KRC.