(Wed. 1st March, 2023) – Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) today announced details of a new special purpose award that formally recognises and supports parents in their role as the primary educators of their children in areas such as literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.
The Level 3 Special Purpose Award in Learning to Support Children in Primary School was developed by KCETB in collaboration with nine other education and training boards and will provide certification options for learners participating in family learning programmes. The award is nationally recognised and will be awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the state agency responsible for certifying further and higher education awards. The initiative will be rolled out in collaboration with local stakeholders.
Details of the new award were announced by KCETB at a special event at the Lord Bagenal Inn, Co Carlow as part of the inaugural ETB Week. The week-long celebration of ETB students, staff and services marks ten years since Ireland’s 16 education and training boards were established.
Speaking at the event, KCETB Chief Executive Eileen Curtis said, “Today is a proud day as we see the work of ten education and training boards – including KCETB – come to fruition with the introduction of this Level 3 Special Purpose Award in Learning to Support Children in Primary School. It is important that the work of parents, in their role as the primary educators of their children, is officially recognised and we hope it will inspire parents in their own learning. I thank everyone who was involved in its development”.
Anyone interested in learning more about the programme should contact the KCETB Adult Literacy Service or to visit www.kcetb.ie for more details.
The event’s keynote speaker was Professor Áine Hyland, Emeritus Professor of Education in University College Cork, who said that the role of parents, working in partnership with schools, cannot be understated.
“The family and the community are central in any policy developments in education and parental involvement does not just benefit the children and the school – it is a crucial aspect of lifelong learning. Congratulations to KCETB on the launch of this QQI Level 3 Special Purpose Award for Family Learning Programmes. This is an opportunity for this new award to be adopted in other communities”, said Professor Hyland.
Yvonne McKenna, who is director of the Adult Literacy for Life National Programme Office with SOLAS, quoted Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris in his introduction to the recent Adult Literacy for life (ALL) strategy when he said, ‘We have to challenge the misconception that an inability to read, write or digitally communicate is a failure of the person. It is a failure of society and the State….We know literacy is a form of power, so let us empower everyone in Ireland to be their best possible selves.’
Director of Awards at Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Barbara Kelly said QQI was delighted to award recognition for this special award and said that it was a fitting way of ensuring that such work would be properly recognised in the future. “We realise that deciding to return to adult learning is possibly the most selfless way to positively join in your child’s education path, but it also allows parents to re-join or enhance their own learning journey”, she commented.
Caption: Pictured at the national launch of the QQI Level 3 Special Purpose Award in Learning to Support Children in Primary School, spearheaded by KCETB, are: KCETB Director of FET Martha Bolger; Director of Awards at Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Barbara Kelly and KCETB Chief Executive Eileen Curtis.