South Waikato adult learn­ers praised

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - LUKE KIRKEBY

A group of Toko­roa Toi Ohomai In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy stu­dents are prov­ing it’s never too late to learn.

The ef­forts of four­teen adult stu­dents were of­fi­cially recog­nised on Thurs­day when they were pre­sented with awards as part of Adult Learn­ing Week.

Toi Ohomai re­gional de­vel­op­ment man­ager Ma­ree Ken­drick said it was a re­ward­ing oc­ca­sion be­ing able to recog­nise lo­cal adult learn­ers along­side fel­low ed­u­ca­tion providers Gate­way Glass and Te Wa¯ nanga o Aotearoa.

‘‘These achieve­ments are an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion providers to cel­e­brate the achieve­ments and suc­cesses of every­one par­tic­i­pat­ing in adult learn­ing. It is cel­e­brated across New Zealand and the world,’’ she said.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil coun­cil­lor Wendy Cook and Taupo¯ MP Louise Up­ston were also in at­ten­dance to help present cer­tifi­cates and flow­ers.

Up­ston, who is the As­so­ciate Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion and As­so­ciate Min­is­ter for Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Em­ploy­ment, en­cour­aged the adult stu­dents to never stop learn­ing.

‘‘If there is one thing I ab­so­lutely adore it is learn­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘My mother was very wise and she taught me you can learn from ev­ery per­son in front of you.’’

‘‘If there is one thing I want to give my three chil­dren, who are now teenagers, it is a love of life­long learn­ing,’’ she said.

She shared her own story of how, through ed­u­ca­tion, she was able to get off the Do­mes­tic Pur­poses Ben­e­fit (DPB) to where she is to­day.

‘‘I didn’t ac­tu­ally get a qual­i­fi­ca­tion un­til my mid 30s,’’ she said.

‘‘I fin­ished high school and went off to univer­sity but dropped out in my sec­ond year. My mum died that year so my life sort of fell apart a bit,’’ she said.

‘‘I ended up start­ing a busi­ness, had no idea what I was do­ing, so I en­rolled in some adult ed­u­ca­tion classes at the lo­cal high school to do some small busi­ness ac­count­ing.’’

‘‘I then had a pe­riod of my life where I was a solo mum, it was a very hard time of my life when I was on the DPB but again I knew I had to do some­thing dif­fer­ent to get the op­por­tu­nity back for my­self and my fam­ily so again I trot­ted off to night classes and en­rolled in AUT to do some ad­di­tional classes. The most amaz­ing thing it did for me was pro­vide con­fi­dence,’’ she said.

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