Kerry Scattergood is an adult literacy tutor, delivering functional skills in the adult & community team at Solihull College and University Centre. She believes in empowering learners’ voices through literacy events and that real reading and writing experiences can be transformative for adult learners. Kerry
blogs at: everydayliteracyproject.wordpress.com, sharing her ideas and practice with other literacy professionals.
Believing in literacy as an everyday, social practice, I am always keen to find ‘real’ writing opportunities, rather than ‘exercise book’ style questions.
Inspired by the ‘Transformative Further Education’ project, and by the conversations we’d been having about the value of adult education, I tasked my women’s centre class to write about the value of adult education.
Even the early drafts were inspirational and this was an opportunity to see a piece of writing all the way through to publishing, rather than a token gesture piece of writing, written one week and forgotten the next. We decided to produce a group ‘booklet’ and blog to contribute to the project, and so the women’s centre can also use the group’s writing to inspire others to join classes at the centre and, therefore, hopefully to empower others to benefit from transformative educational opportunities too.
I’m encouraging the women to own every stage of this process, from their first drafts, to final published work, and hoping there will be many deeper messages and lessons from this work. Importantly, those messages won’t be mine to tell, but those of the group and the individual empowered voices within it.
So, in their own words:
Fear used to keep me paralyzed
Till I couldn’t move.
She said, come one now
It’s time to put on your shoes
Time for you to choose.
For I am no longer a story to be deferred
I am a story to be heard
I am embodied with words
For I am the art, poetry.
I am a dreamer, who is no longer scared
Because I know knowledge is nothing
Without knowledge of self.
That is the real wealth.
Poem by Zenobia.
Adult education can transform lives
Hi, my name is Nikita and I am here to share my experience of getting back into education.
As an adult, it is a fantastic opportunity to be educated and to improve your knowledge.
I was married at a very young age and did not complete my education. Because I had no proper qualifications, I found it hard to get a job. I was constantly nagged as I had no proper education and I did not have enough confidence and knowledge.
Education is important for every single girl as she can grow up to be a confident individual and independent woman, not just for herself but also to improve her chances in society.
In the 21st century, no girl child must be left uneducated. There is a saying: “If we educate a boy, we educate an individual, but if we educate a girl, we educate a family and a whole nation.” An educated woman can educate future generations. An educated mother can raise a family with knowledge, skills and as respected citizens of society.
Educating women at an early age is the best gift for the future generation. Education has a positive influence on the social-economic situation of the country. However, many girls and women lack education due to financial barriers.
Let’s educate ourselves so that we can educate more women for the future.
Speech by Nikita.
Hi, my name is Aklima. What do you think about adult education? Do you think it can transform lives?
Well, I think it can! I believe that you never stop learning, no matter how old you are. I’m in education for myself, to improve the skills I already have and to refresh them.
I believe education increases your knowledge and joining education can encourage your children to see how important education is.
I have always had it in me and I have raised my daughters to have the same attitude to education. Me and my daughters have a craving to want to learn more and more and more! The value of education has to be passed on. I value it, which is why they value it too.
Education has helped me to become a better person and also a much stronger woman. It has helped me deal with my fears too.
Since I started adult education, it has had a great impact on mine and on my daughter’s lives. It has brought changes into our lives for the better.
I want to set a good example, not just for my daughters, but also other women who struggle to learn. I want them to know that it’s not as hard as you think – if you can work hard, you can achieve anything.
The main reason why I want to refresh my maths and English is that my aim is to get the job I deserve!
Education doesn’t have to be boring, but it can be fun, and it depends on you and the attitude you have towards it.
Speech by Aklima.
Adult education can transform lives
I remember back in the days people used to take the mick out of each other, especially when it came to education. Every time education was mentioned, my heart would always skip a beat and I always used to get butterflies in my stomach.
Now that I have grown up, I realise that life is quite difficult without any degrees or qualifications. I struggle every time, without realising. I get frustrated and give my children a lecture every day before school, say “work hard”. I use myself as an example to them.
They are my role models. No matter what age you are, remember age is just a number.
Education matters always, even though it might not seem relevant but it always is – trust me. Everyone says, “been there, done that” but this has always inspired my children. If you are going to think, think big, then think bigger.
The key to education in being independent and self-determined. Remember a fact: to start a journey you take one small step towards achieving your dreams!
Article by Rashda.
In some parts of the world, women and girls are disadvantaged when it comes to education.
Women are told that it is not that important and that they should be better putting their energy into children and family.
But how can a woman educate her children if she isn’t educated herself?
Education is important for every individual. It empowers them and gives them the ability to be an active participant in society. Education provides women with the tools and confidence to contribute to the economy, to be leaders, so to make a huge difference to the community.
We have seen women who had stopped their education returning to it, acquiring new knowledge, skills and confidence and thus starting a new life.
Speech by Meryam.
Well education has inspired me,
To be the higher me.
Education elevates me, stimulates me, motivates me
You see, the rule of three.
My intuition is based off of the words
I had studied, the words I had written down
Through words I vibrate
I mean by the smack of my lips
Verbs, adjectives and nouns
Education has allowed this poet in hand
To stand unapologetically
To speak freely
To be me
Education has said
‘take my hand and be free with me’
Education is to awaken
Education is set, to set free this upcoming nation.
Poem by Zenobia.