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Celebrating adult and community education

Hon Dr Michael Cullen

Minister for Tertiary Education

3 September 2006 Media Statement
EMBARGOED UNTIL 1am, Sunday 3 September

Celebrating adult and community education

Celebrating the benefits of lifelong learning and encouraging others to embrace the opportunities are at the heart of Adult Learners’ Week, He Tangata Mãtauranga, Minister for Tertiary Education Dr Michael Cullen said today.

A week long celebration of adult learning begins tonight with a function at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Dr Cullen said Adult Learners’ Week, He Tangata Mãtauranga, was a great opportunity to further strengthen adult and community education in New Zealand.

"Adult learning enriches the lives of the individuals involved, as well as their families and communities. This sits well with this year’s theme for the week; ‘Adult Learning: Changing lives, building strong communities’," Dr Cullen said.

Every year around half a million adults take up learning activities from programmes at local schools to studying towards university degrees.

"We want to improve opportunities for all families, young and old, to have greater choice and security. Adult learning helps that by allowing people to gain more skills, improve their confidence, expand their knowledge and help them reach their potential. This can only help to strengthen their communities.

"Lifelong learning is also an important part of our strategy to transform New Zealand into a smarter, knowledge-based economy.

"Recent changes to adult and community education (ACE) will ensure both students and education providers have the best conditions to learn and teach in.

"Over the last two years we have developed new national ACE priorities, implemented a single funding framework for ACE, developed new quality assurance arrangements for providers and a new professional development strategy for providers and practitioners.

"Improving the quality of education organisations through the current reforms to the tertiary funding framework will also help enhance the experience for adults."

Labour MP Marian Hobbs launches Adult Learners' Week at 6pm tonight at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Awards for outstanding teaching and learning, including a new UNESCO adult learning award, will also be presented.


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