Student visit to NI AssemblyOn October 11th, 2017, Gerry Skelton (lecturer) organised a recent field trip to the NI Assembly for the 2nd year Health and Social Care (Extended Diploma) students (pictured above), to help contextualise their social policy teaching.
Commenting on the visit, Gerry Skelton said:
“As always, this proved a valuable teaching and learning opportunity for the students; especially given the absence of the NI Government! In turn, this helped establish the absolute importance of our primary political institution in NI and relating social policy priorities to service provision and users / carers’ experiences. I am proud of the way the class conducted themselves and represented Belfast Met; and particularly 2 students for their considered and challenging questions! We also appreciated those MLA’s who joined our group to share their experiences and candidly respond to our questions and observations. My gratitude, as always, for the input of NI Assembly staff who made the whole experience so worthwhile”.
Reflecting on the visit, 2 students commented:
“Gerry, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed our recent trip to Stormont. It has helped me see how our current studies relate to how our local devolved government works, and what the MLA's can do to affect our day to day lives, and our future prospects in Health and Social Care. It was interesting to talk to our representatives, and understand what they are thinking when they are making policies which affect our day to day life. I just wanted to thank you for organising the trip and to let you know that I did get a lot out of the experience, even though our Executive is not currently up and running (Bethany Fisher);
“Thank you, Gerry, for organising the trip up to the parliament buildings today. I and the whole class received a lot of very helpful information which we can use to good effect on the course (Lucy Smyth, Student Class Representative).
Pat Crolly (Course Coordinator) commented:
“Gerry, congratulations on the Stormont visit! I got really positive feedback from the class and the excellent turnout speaks volumes. The experience of visiting the institutions of government and meeting our legislators has clearly had a positive impact on our students and helped them as learners to understand the context and process involved in the development of social policy. As with your previous visits, Gerry - well worth the hard work and effort you put in!”.