Edinburgh will mark 100 years of Adult Education in the city this year, with a special event that shows its development over the years. Included in the exhibition will be historic records and photographs which detail class programmes and information from as far back as 1908. There will also be information about the latest programme of classes and opportunities to enrol for classes.
The ledgers contain information about the attendance at classes and make references to historical events such as air raids during the Second World War when a class had to be evacuated to an air raid shelter. They also mention a miners strike in 1926 which forced classes to be cancelled as there was no coal to heat the boilers.
The records provide an insight into a changing workplace and changing society. The session in 1923 included courses for flour millers, lectures to allotment holders and elocution. By the 1960's classes such as Electric Technology, Motor Engineering and International Problems had been added to the syllabus.
"Adult Education has always played an important role in our city and I am delighted they are celebrating such a momentous anniversary" said Cllr Marilyne MacLaren, Convener for Education, Children and Famillies."As always this year's programme is full of varied and interesting classes. I am also delighted that we have been able to keep the cost of classes frozen for this coming year."
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Fiona Hyslop said the anniversary shows that Edinburgh and its people have a "long, healthy appetite for lifelong learning" and that access to adult education helps build "a smarter and wealthier Scotland."
She added: "Many of today's courses like IT and instrument making are very different to those on offer in 1908. However, others like book-keeping and French have remained popular throughout the years. What is important is that the courses are relevant to learners and that they have access to a range of opportunities to learn new skills, for their vocational and personal development.
The centenary is an open event at Drummond Community High School on Saturday 30 August.