Forever Learning

adult learner
adult learner

Learning new skills is a proven way to keep your brain active and healthy. Today marks the beginning of Adult Learner’s Week (September 7-13). Is there a new skill you’d like to try? Make this week the week you search it, enrol in it or get started.

Closeup of reading the lessonAdult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga, celebrates all adult learning.  Whether you are looking to improve your skills at work, prepare for further study, improve general life skills or simply as an interest, start today. The week is supported by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and incorporates International Literacy Day on September 8.

Research shows that learning programmes for seniors can lead to a reduction in the use of medication, increased wellbeing and can even delay the onset of dementia.

This year’s Adult Learner’s Week/He Tangata Mātauranga is  being launched at Henley Men’s Shed in Masterton.  The custom built shed is set up for older men to participate in a range of activities from metalwork, woodwork and gardening to pizza making, writing courses and men’s health education sessions. It also runs holiday programmes for children and young people.

By 2035, experts predict there will be some one million retirees in New Zealand, which could mean a surge in demand for learning opportunities such as those provided by Men’s Sheds.

“There is now solid evidence of a relationship between learning and mental agility as people age but adult learning is good for everyone not just for seniors. Adult learners of all ages and backgrounds report benefits like better self-esteem, greater tolerance, confidence and career prospects,” says Dr Jo Lake, Director of Adult and Community Education (ACE) Aotearoa.

Even if you are still working, the pace of change in the workplace also means that adult learning is vital for everyone. Being willing to learn will always be an advantage in the workplace.

The Government priorities for Adult and Community Education (ACE) include literacy, numeracy, English language (ESOL), te Reo Māori and sign language. Providers all over New Zealand offer learning in these core areas and many others. Courses not eligible for funding are often run by volunteers.

For more information see the website