Posted on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 at 11am
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
As we prepare to launch our new conversion route into science, it has made me reflect on the value of lifelong learning at any age.
We see so many people in the Lifelong Learning Centre whose lives have been limited in the past by decisions that they made, or had little choice over, when still quite young at school. It can be really hard to know when making choices of subject at 13 or 14 what you might be good at in many years’ time. It may be difficult to see where education leads at all, if you haven’t seen it help the people around you. Sometimes, there are just too many difficult things to deal with rather than schoolwork.
Years later, so many people look back and wish they had made different choices, or wish that different avenues had been open to them. That is one reason why we feel here that lifelong learning is so essential. It provides opportunities that enable people not to be held captive into their futures by the decisions and experiences of their past. It makes it possible to start over again.
That is true at any age. There are students in classrooms right now studying non-science subjects, working hard to get a place at university, and starting to wonder whether they should have studied sciences instead. Some of them will take our conversion course in science next year. I was thinking about what a big decision that will be for them. What a lot of hard work and courage will be involved. And also what the potential rewards might be as a result.
We talk a lot about the courage of our students generally. I think we are very conscious here of what a huge deal it can be for any person to make a decision to come back into learning, to start a new course – and what a big thing it is to consider changing the direction of your life. I see and hear how mindful staff are of students’ creativity, will power and sheer determination in making these opportunities work for them – and how hard they work, too, to make this a reality.