Community education projects throughout Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim have received funding under the Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund (MAEDF). The projects will be funded from an overall fund of €6.5 million which was announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD. The fund is administered by SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority and the 16 local Education and Training Boards.
The aim of the fund is to support community education for adult learners, who have the highest level of need, with a strong focus on building the digital infrastructure of community education providers to increase the capacity to deliver online learning.
Examples of MSLETB funding recipients included:
Crossmolina Community Council Vision 2025 – €19,500 Project: Development of Educational Hub for Youth Centre, The Boreen, Crossmolina
North Connaught Youth & Community Services (Sligo, North Mayo & Leitrim) – €21,261 Project: MAEDF Project: 2021 Leitrim UBU Project, North Mayo UBU Project, Sligo YIC Project, YAPS Garda Diversion project Sligo, YAB Garda Diversion Project Ballina Co Mayo, CYAP Garda Diversion Project Castlebar Co Mayo, Comharile Na Nog Liatrioma, SMILY LGBTI Sligo/Leitrim
Leitrim Integrated Development Co – €3,298 Project: Mohill Community Youth Project, Hybrid Training
The projects vary from programmes to help support online learning, connect communities, and providing social support to vulnerable people.
Commenting on the Fund was Tom Grady, Chief Executive of Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board “It is great to see so many diverse and local community education providers receive funding to continue their vital work. Many of our community education providers are taking an innovative approach to ensure that nobody is left behind now that so much of our everyday lives are conducted online, whether learning, socialising, or working. We look forward to continuing to support the strong tradition of community education throughout Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim as we move through 2022 and hopefully to more positive times in the future. All funding received is now supporting learners as they engage with community education provision in their locality, at a pace and time that suits them.”
Commenting on the announcement of the recipients, Andrew Brownlee, CEO of SOLAS, said: “We are delighted to have funded a wide range of Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim community education services under the new Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on how education is delivered, with so much of our learning now taking place online”.
“Those in society who are furthest removed from education through social disadvantage have been the most adversely impacted by the move online, either by a lack of digital literacy, or through a lack of IT hardware and software. Through the Fund, we are supporting community education providers to continue delivering their much-needed services, and to ensure that all sectors of society are remaining connected and supported to continue their learning journeys.”