News: Festival of Adult Learning (Ahurei Ākonga) 2018

Festival of Adult Learning (Ahurei Ākonga) ran this year from 1st to 8th September 2018

It is an opportunity to celebrate the successes and achievements of everyone participating in Adult and Community Education (ACE).

It has also become a way to encourage 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.

To mark the week, we nominated three learners for the Outstanding Learner Award, and two tutors for Exceptional Educator. All nominees will received certificates at the award ceremonies on Saturday 1st September during the Festival of Learning at the Te Atatu Peninsula Community Centre.

Congratulations to them all for their hard work.

Our Outstanding Learner nominees were Ioane Ikenasio, Petetua Setema and Jeffrey Clark

After years of supporting his family, Ioane decided to pursue his dream of becoming a music teacher in his adopted country.  However, there was one obstacle, his English didn’t meet the entrance level of the Certificate in Music course.  Ioane made the decision to improve his English and enrolled at Literacy Waitakere about a year ago.

Ioane is an enthusiastic and dedicated learner, he gives his best effort to attend all the sessions; he takes the initiative to improve his English after school, requesting extra homework which he completes promptly.  He uses what he has learned at every opportunity, at school, at home, at church and in his community.

Ioane is kind and helpful to his peers.  He makes other members of the group feel comfortable with their learning.  Ioane’s tenacity to reach his goal sets a good example to the people around him, showing them that it is never too late to follow their dreams.

Pepetua left Tuvalu with her family four years ago to come and live in New Zealand.  She started attending Literacy Waitakere in 2016.

A busy mother of two who works part time, Pepetua makes the effort to attend three group sessions a week, reviews what she has learned, completes homework that she requests for, and practises writing in her own time.

Pepetua takes every opportunity to improve her English.  During break time at school she reads the newspaper, and practises her English with learners from other groups in the school.

At home, Pepetua passes on what she has learned to her family, encouraging her children to study hard in order to get a good education.

Pepetua is caring and helpful to her peers, especially to new members of the group.

Pepetua’s future plan is to gain a certificate qualification at a tertiary institution.  Her strong desire to upskill and improve herself makes her a good role model for her friends and family.

Jeff started coming to Literacy Waitakere in 2016.  At the beginning he was very quiet in the group, but was willing to attempt any task that was set during the session.  His confidence has grown during his time with us, which is shown in the improvement in his reading and writing and his willingness to assist with setting up any events that are planned.

Jeff’s attendance is almost 100%.  He comes twice a week to Reading and Writing and once a week to the computer group.  His first story for the Literacy Waitakere Student Writing Book, “I Went to School to Eat my Lunch” describes going to AA meetings.  Jeff has been sober for over 2 years now and is very proud of this, as are his tutors.  He has gained his Driver’s Licence after doing his Learner’s Licence with us, and is now working on his truck licence.  Jeff’s enthusiasm and commitment have led to him seeking employment in the community.

Our Exceptional Educator nominees this year were Tina Jacobs and Belinda Jane Greenslade.

Tina Jacob’s journey in the field of adult literacy education began with an adult literacy tutor training course in 2003.  Through her wonderful kind, generous and sensitive nature, she has managed to assist many adults in this area, while recognising the importance of ‘Ako’ – sometimes teacher, sometimes learner.

Her tutoring sessions are based around the learners’ needs with creativity and innovation, and what is meaningful for them in their lives.  She exemplifies tikanga which she brings from her whanau and applies this in her tutoring practice.  She also contributes to our professional development days with Maori language and tikanga.

She tutors a wide range of learners, from those with special needs, workplace learners, to pre-literate mother tongue refugees.  Her learners are devoted to her, and recognise her commitment to excellence and their well-being and achievements.

Tina practises inclusiveness by welcoming and supporting new learners and tutors, and shows tremendous respect to all.  She is a highly valued tutor within our organisation, so we wish to show our love and gratitude by nominating her for an exceptional adult educator award.

Belinda Jane Greenslade started at Literacy Waitakere as an Administrator in 2007 and with a desire to help people gain independence through improved literacy, in 2009 she completed her training as an Adult Literacy Tutor. 

As a tutor she works with groups of adult learners seeking to improve their literacy, numeracy and computer skills, in order to live full lives in a modern society.  Belinda Jane also supports apprentices with literacy and numeracy, enabling them to complete the theory requirements of their apprenticeships. 

Belinda Jane is always mindful that adult learners bring with them a unique set of circumstances which can impact on their ability to learn.  She continually reflects on her teaching, to ensure that learners’ needs are met.  Her teaching activities are student centred and designed to include a variety of learning styles.  Learners feel heard and respected and are encouraged to support each other.  Learners enjoy attending and participating in her classes and feel a sense of achievement.