Council Partners Education News

Limerick Community Education Network Launches its Strategic Plan

The Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN) has launched its new Strategic Plan 2022-2025 with a continuing commitment to the provision of education in communities across Limerick City.

The LCEN is a network of community education providers in Limerick City. It represents 15 organisations and 3,000 adults across the city; and works collectively in supporting and promoting Community Adult Education.

Community education is education ‘for the community within the community’. It takes place outside the formal education sector and aims to enhance learning, foster empowerment, and contribute to civic society.

The five key strategic priorities of the new plan are:

  • Co-ordination of community education provision
  • Capacity-building support and quality assurance
  • Promotion of outreach and awareness-raising
  • Policy development and advocacy
  • Governance and operational management

The LCEN held their event to celebrate the AONTAS Adult Learner’s Festival, which is a nationwide celebration of adult learning. The LCEN will be 30 years in existence next year, and the strategic priorities in its new plan will enable it to continue to support and promote community education.

Speaking at the launch, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler said, “the LCEN, through its membership, has played a significant role in supporting learners in local communities throughout Covid in terms of maintaining contact and supporting digital inclusion. The LCEN has also helped learners in feeling safe in returning to classes. Community education classes are varied and accessible to all adults across Limerick, and most importantly available in their own communities.

“At the heart of the LCEN are the people in Limerick communities who continue to engage and attend community education classes. Indeed, these learners, along with the Community Education tutors, partners and supporters have all been involved in shaping this new Strategic Plan.”

Triona Lynch, Further Education and Training Manager at Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board said, “a strength of community education and one recognised by SOLAS, which is the national body which funds Further Education and Training, is the range of bottom-up initiatives developed to serve the particular needs of a local area.”

“Here in Limerick, the role of the LCEN using the local reach of its members and working in partnership with Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is central to ensuring the provision of a broad range of learning options across the city. Indeed, the LCEN is cited as an example of best practice nationally, one supporting co-ordination and collaboration.”

Patrick Fitzgerald of LCEN added, “our Strategic Plan reflects a commitment to the on-going support and provision of adult community education across Limerick City. The voices of both learners and participants were central to the process. There was a comprehensive consultation and focus group process for the development of this plan and thanks to the PAUL Partnership for its expertise in developing and drafting of the plan with the LCEN.”

Source: Limerick City & County Council

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