Adult Learners Week launch 2 web2

Thousands of adult learners make use of learning opportunities

Thousands of adult learners make use of learning opportunities

Last updated 6 September 2017
Last updated 6 September 2017

New Zealand joins over 40 countries this week to raise awareness of learning opportunities for adults during Adult Learners' Week.  Over 64,000 New Zealanders aged 18-90+ are currently engaged in learning through Adult Community Education in over 7,500 programmes.

Adult Learners Week was launched with a well-attended breakfast at the Grand Hall at Parliament this past Monday. A number of inspirational learners spoke about their experiences going through the Adult Community Education courses.

“Listening to all the speakers showed the difference Adult and Community Education can make to people’s lives, their whānau and communities. Their courage, resilience and commitment is inspirational,” says TEC’s Kathryn Hazlewood, Literacy and Numeracy Principal Advisor.  

One of the speakers, Leah Olsen, found herself without work when her husband and young family returned to Porirua at the beginning of the year. Determined to get into early childhood education Leah, along with her husband, enrolled in a parenting programme.

They learnt to be more responsive to their children’s needs, reflect on how they do things and be more proactive. Soon she was acting as her son’s teacher aid which led to a tutoring job for Home Interaction for Parents and Youngsters (Hippy). She now teaches 12 mothers how to use the activity book. She feels she’s much closer to her goal of getting into early childhood education.    

Adult Learners’ Week, which also coincides with International Literacy Day, celebrates the success of all those who, like Leah, wanted to re-train to find employment. Some also find adult learning opportunities help them adjust to life after prison. Others just want to get out in the community to meet new people and improve their lives.  

To raise public awareness of more learning opportunities for adults ACE Aotearoa is planning events around the country throughout the week. For further information visit the website ACE Aotearoa 

About Adult Learners Week

It started in 1998 in New Zealand as an initiative by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. The Adult Learners’ Week is supported through funding by the Tertiary Education Commission, adult and community education providers and the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. Over 40 countries participate in Adult Learners’ week to celebrate the efforts and courage of learners who re-engage in learning. 

About ACE

ACE is informal, community-based education designed to re-engage learners in education, and provide foundation skills development and pathways into other learning opportunities that meet community needs (including further education or the workplace).