We visited the Inclusive Homework Club, one of the projects funded by the Reaching New Scots Fund.

Their ESOL and IT Skills projects are supporting adults to pursue further education, improve their employment prospects and even enable them to support their children with their homework. Glasgow Clyde College provides qualified lecturers to lead the courses.

The project grew out of discussions between Inclusive Homework Club (IHWC), parents in the community, and other local organisations such as CWIN.

When we visited, we first met with Firdaus, founder of IHWC, and Project Coordinator Carly to hear all about how the project is going. They talked about how there are not enough English language classes for the demand in Glasgow, and shared the positive impacts the project is having on their participants.

We also heard about some of the barriers people face when attending classes. These included travel and childcare costs, mismatched skill levels, or unsuitable timings (particularly for parents who need to pick up kids from school).

IHWC are now adapting to the needs of their community – adding new skill levels, adapting their timings, and ensuring that travel costs are factored into their budget moving forward.


Nufailah’s story

Nufailah came to the UK 12 years ago and has 4 children, 3 of whom participate in our after-school Homework Club.

She often comes with her children and enjoys the learning environment both for her children’s sake and her own. It is because of her children that she was inspired to register for the Click2Connect course. Her children frequently need to use a computer to complete their homework, and she had difficulty helping them because she had not used a computer at all since she came to the UK. Her son, who is in P7, would ask for help, and she says that she ‘didn’t know [how to help] so [she] need[s] to learn’.

Nufailah reported a high level of enjoyment in the course and how it has changed her life. The lecturer was very helpful and she is happy that she can now have an email address and send emails, allowing her to be in better contact with friends and family back home. She is also very confident now in helping her children with their schoolwork at home. In addition to this, Nufailah also feels more confident in her ability to apply to jobs, especially now that she can put on her CV that she has completed an SCQF level 3 computer skills course and fill out online applications.

College pursuits are on the horizon for Nufailah. She has indicated interest in taking the next level Click2Connect class, and even applying for college in the future. As a testament to her increased skills and confidence on the computer, Nufailah has agreed to volunteer as an assistant on the computer skills classes that are put on after her course finishes.


In the classroom

After chatting with Firdaus and Carly, we were invited to see the work of the Homework Club in action. Their IT Skills class, known as Click2Connect, was in full swing, with participants working their way through a series of tasks.

This week, they were setting up email accounts and practicing sending emails.  This ensured that the group was not only learning IT skills, but practicing English language skills too. We sat with the learners and heard all about how the course was going for them, and their hopes for future learning.

The atmosphere was warm and friendly, with everyone helping each other out.


Soran’s story

Soran came to the UK seeking safety and has completed our 8-week Click2Connect computer skills class. He studied at university and earned a Bachelor’s degree in his home country, but has struggled to find work in the UK in the year and a half he has been here. In conversation with him, he said that he is interested in IT as a possible career because ‘you just need to show your skill rather than requiring a qualification’. A big hurdle that he has been trying to overcome are his English language skills and confidence in using English and computers.

Because of Soran’s interests in gaining additional computer skills and improving his English, he decided to register for our class. The material on the course was generally review for him, but there were two big areas that being in the class helped him with: increasing his confidence in using English and giving him a first qualification (at SCQF level 3) in computers that will help him get into college.

Soran is now more confident speaking with people he doesn’t know as well as more confident in using the computer. The class also offered him an opportunity to meet and socialise with other people in his new community, which he indicated was a benefit to taking the class.

Soren’s goal is to register for college and complete the NQ Software Development Course. He says that ‘the world is changing and we have to change our mindsets. We don’t need more paperwork. We can do a lot of things on the computer and help our environment’. He is currently in the process of applying to college with the assistance of our Project Coordinator.

Find out more about the work of the Inclusive Homework Club.

Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah