Why adult education is like fishing

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Why adult education is like fishing

One of my favourite proverbs is, ‘You give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.’ This is how I have always viewed the role of education in the world. 

Before moving to the UK to study for a Masters degree, I was based in East and Central Africa. My first job when I moved to London was with a small training company. This was a time of great change and transformation in my life and it was at this point that I realised that I wanted to build a career in adult education. Education had opened up my own world and I saw it doing the same for other people. 

Over the past 15 years, I have met some amazing people. Some of them have been in some really tough circumstances and dealing with financial and emotional challenges that are sadly increasingly common. Working with them and supporting them to make change has been one of the greatest gifts I could possibly wish for in life. 

Here’s what I think are the most important things about adult education:

  • It builds confidence and self-esteem
  • It supports people with getting back to work or making that first step towards employment
  • It really can turn lives around, leading to better choices, positive actions, and more meaningful relationships
  • It offers a chance for learners to become mentors and to help teach others
  • It’s not just about an individual. Businesses that upskill and train staff tend to retain their staff which can lead to greater profitability
  • Education gives people a sense of freedom and independence

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to work in a sector I love. Through my work, I get to teach people how to fish every day.

Dimple was the founder of Skill-Serve Training Ltd which specialised in education and apprenticeships for those interested in a career in teaching. The company was supported by various stakeholders and funders. It continues to build successful relationships and partnerships with employers, community groups, local authorities, and charities via its new owners. 

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