Festival of Adult Learning - Ahurei Ākonga

(photo by Eli Hill, Wairarapa Times-Age, 10/09/2020 )

The Festival of Adult Learning Ahurei Ākonga was established in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1998 with the goal of raising the profile of adult learning. It is an opportunity to celebrate the successes and achievements of everyone participating in Adult and Community Education (ACE). It has also become a vehicle for encouraging anyone in the wider community with needs or desires that can be met through learning to consider adult education, whether it be learning to adjust to life in a new country, re-training to find employment, adjusting to life after prison, acquiring parenting skills or just getting out and doing an activity to make life better and meet people.

Visit Ace Aotearoa for more info.

Literacy Aotearoa celebrates this festival each year across Aotearoa at our local sites. It is a chance to acknowledge both our brave learners and their tutors, as well as the mahi done to improve literacy/numeracy.  

Carol Wald, Site Coordinator and Administrator our Literacy Aotearoa site in Masterton was interviewed during the 2020 Festival - she makes some important points about adult literacy learners:

“Lots of people think they’re the only one with the problem, but when they come to class, they find they’re not the only one or they realise their problem isn’t as big as they think it is. It gives people confidence.”

“It used to be that you could leave school without qualifications and get a job in a factory or farm. But now a lot of those jobs have disappeared, or to be a farmer you need a certificate.

 "What we see is people with lower literacy skills could have really good skills in the workplace but won’t step up to the higher paying jobs. They tend to have lower paid jobs because they don’t put themselves forward for advancement.”

“Our biggest group is people aged 16 to 25, but we do get a big influx of people from 35 to 50, mostly people who have decided they’re going to have a second chance of learning.  We’ve also had people in their 80s and 90s who mostly come in to learn how to use a computer or smartphone.”

Keep watching this website and follow our Facebook pages to find out about our 2021 Festival of Adult Learning events.