The annual presentation of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Major Award Certificates to learners in Co. Roscommon under part-time programmes with Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board, recently took place in Abbey Hotel, Roscommon town (also covered in last week’s edition).
The event was also part of a national celebration of adult learners taking place across the country as part of the AONTAS national calendar.
A newly-forged link between GRETB and the Defence Forces was also celebrated with the presentation of QQI Level 5 Health Service Skills Major Awards to staff within the Defence Forces.
The other categories in which students received QQI major awards were: Level 2 General Learning, Level 5 Early Childhood Care and Education, Level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education, and Level 5 Health Service Skills.
Ms Stephanie O’Connor-Shaw, BTEI (Back to Education Initiative) Coordinator for GRETB and MC for the night, congratulated all the award recipients.
“We hope that the awards will bring the rewards and changes you hoped for. Sometimes we focus on the end result and we don’t think or reflect on how we got to this point. As an adult learner, you can never predict where your life will take you.
“You will continue to learn new things. Tonight you have reached the end – completing your course but don’t forget the journey and the milestones you reached along the way. Don’t forget the times when you were taken out of your comfort zone and the obstacles you overcame,” she said.
Cllr. Noel Larkin, chairperson of the board of GRETB, afforded a special welcome to the members of the Defence Forces who were attending the ceremony.
“Congratulations to all the award recipients who have demonstrated great commitment to be here tonight. It is a proud night for you and your teachers, the people who deliver the courses”.
The Level 5 Health Service Skills Workforce Development awards were presented by Lt. Col. Oliver Dwyer, Officer Commanding, 6th Infantry Battalion, Irish Defence Forces. He congratulated all the award recipients and noted how enjoyable it was to be involved in the award ceremony.
Those gathered also heard from Level 5 Health Services Skills student John Rourke who said the course had given him a “new lease of life and a job”.
Stephanie O’Connor-Shaw took the opportunity to praise the contribution of all those involved in delivering courses including Sabrina Kenny, GRETB Administration Officer, as well as a “great team of teachers” for their “outstanding effort”. She also thanked her colleagues in GRETB and staff behind the scenes.
Those in attendance also heard from Donal Walsh, Adult Education Organiser for GRETB.