South Waikato adult learners praised
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.