From education to employment

The recent article by Alan Corbett in FE NEWS regarding the lamentable state of FE in Iraq resulted

Having recently returned from six months” military mobilization in Basra, I have now returned to my civilian employment at the Association of South East Colleges. The recent FE News article in which I lamented the dire state of education, in particular FE, produced a most encouraging reaction from individuals at colleges wishing to do something to put matters right. Readers were clearly shocked to learn that it is commonplace to meet youngsters who have not attended school and that vast numbers are illiterate. The lack of vocational training means that there is a generation of unskilled youngsters whose only means of supporting their family is to turn to crime. And this in a nation which was until recently the world leader in education and civilisation.

To return dignity to this noble people, my organisation, as part of the Rawabit Project, has embarked on an energetic campaign to reinstate vocational education and thereby give the people the chance to earn a dignified living, rather than resort to criminal behaviour. In addition, we aim to establish a Basra Football Academy and give youngsters the chance to develop world class soccer skills. Individuals in colleges in South East England have already achieved much in these respects, but the interest level and support has now become too great to continue on a volunteer basis. Whilst we believe that we have the skills to galvanise public support and media interest, we recognise that we also need professional help, in particular the provision of an accounting service. Thus my purpose in writing. Is there a college which shares our aim of restoring dignity to Iraqis, through education, and who wants to become a partner and can provide accountancy support? This is a cause which excites the British public and one where there will is potential to change lives. But without such support, we are extremely limited in our ability to take this forward.

Colleges interested in helping should contact me via [email protected] or (07941)595661.

I hope to hear from you.

Alan Corbett Association of South East Colleges

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