WINNING Ways

By Young, Neil | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), May 13, 1998 | Go to article overview

WINNING Ways


Young, Neil, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


There is nothing you cannot do as an adult learner - the choice of courses is massive.

From learning to play a guitar to keeping fit, from accountancy to women's health, learning a foreign language to studying for a degree in engineering, the list goes on and on.

And that's what makes adult learning so appealing, with one in 10 adults now picking up new skills either through home study or classes.

The shift to life-long learning has been quite dramatic and, according to Fiona Black, director of operations at the Scottish Community Education Council, Scotland is "well on the way" to developing provision to suit the needs and circumstances of adult learners.

During Adult Learners' Week, 15 individuals and groups across Scotland will receive Adult Learners' Awards.

They have been nominated for facing the challenge of improving their own lives and the lives of others.

Historically, many will have come from backgrounds with little or poor experience of education, and their achievements being recognised through the awards will inspire others to join them in lifelong learning.

One award nominee is Mary Moran, from Paisley, who has just completed a course which helped her get her first job ever. And she has really got the learning bug.

"I'm not sure what course to do next, but I'll definitely do something," said 40-year-old Mary.

Through the Paisley Partnership, she undertook a 20-week "Signposts for Women" course which involved personal skills development and job-seeking skills.

Mary is a typical example of many people attracted to learning as she left school with no qualifications aged 15 and when she was widowed ten years ago had two children to bring up on her own.

"With my kids now grown up, I want to learn more. This has made all the difference to me and it is something I can do just for myself.

"My children are really pleased that I took the course and have now got a job as a care worker."

Over the 20 weeks, her literacy skills improved, along with her communication skills and confidence.

"We worked in a group," added Mary. "I'd never been in a group situation before but I enjoyed it and I'm glad I took part. …

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