Kildare and Wicklow ETB Newsletter Issue 8 - Page 9

Most KWETB courses are free to people in receipt of a DSP payment while BTEI courses are free to people without a Leaving Certificate or equivalent qualification.

What advice do you have for somebody thinking about returning to education or training?

Call into one of our Adult Guidance Counselling Services for free advice and support in making the decision. It is important that you go into the right course if you have a specific goal or job path in mind and the advice of an adult guidance counsellor is invaluable when making your choice. Returning to education or training is one of the most rewarding things in life and has very little in common with traditional schooling.

How can people find out more information on KWETB services?

The best initial point for information is our website www.kwetb.ie. We also have a Facebook page that highlights key activities in the organisation. If you wish to get some advice you are welcome to drop into one of our centres (contact details are listed on website) and talk to the staff or contact our Adult Guidance Services.

A Day in the Working Life of an Adult Literacy Organiser with Imelda Carroll

My working day starts at 8 am. I check my emails from the previous night and respond to texts that have arrived from tutors or students. I co-ordinate two Further Education and Training Centres in Athy and Kildare, dividing my time between both centres. I usually go to Kildare Centre on a Monday morning.

When I arrive, I answer any questions students and tutors may have before classes begin. Students usually have many queries regarding Garda Vetting, Certification etc. and Tutors also have queries regarding QQI certification etc. I liaise with my administrator on Monday to discuss any issues that have arisen with the building, heating, students, tutors or accounts.

The Childcare and Community Care classes are run on a modular basis so there are often new students arriving who are returning to education for the first time in 10 or 20 years. I meet them before they join in the class, re-assuring them that they have the ability to succeed and that my team in the centre will provide a support structure for them.

The Intensive Tuition course is for students wishing to improve their reading, writing, numeracy and computer skills and takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays, over 14 weeks.

When a new Outreach class starts, usually for parents under the Home School Liaison Scheme, I will go to the school to introduce the tutor, complete registration forms and have a chat with the parents about the course. Some parents take the opportunity to talk to me alone about their concerns regarding their literacy or numeracy problems and I will see about setting up a 1:1 or a small literacy group for them. KWETB in Athy and Kildare link in with the HSCL’s to support schools through Family Learning Programmes in Athy, Kildare, Monasterevin and Curragh Camp.

From 11am- 1pm, I usually meet new literacy students and students wishing to join certified courses. We have an informal chat, as they are usually very nervous, taking this giant leap to return to education. I assess their level and identify the correct course for them. Night classes are also delivered in both centres. If a new class is starting, I may need to attend to introduce the tutor to the new students and give a brief outline of the course. The rest of the week can involve Co-Ordinators meetings, ALO meetings, Skills for Work meetings, Inter-Agency meetings etc. Many days are spent writing reports for state agencies including SOLAS and Department of Education and Skills.

I enjoy my varied work as an ALO. I get great satisfaction from seeing students develop their self confidence and self-esteem and improve their skills.