Adult learning space a hit



A quiet space to study is proving a hit with adult learners in Alexandra.
Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme (CO Reap) is providing a free space for adults to undertake research and learn new skills.
Every Wednesday, a room at Alexandra Community House is made available, with computers and printing available.
CO Reap educator Penny Fitzgerald helps adult learners with any advice and questions they may have.
‘‘Adult learners face plenty of challenges — having a quiet space to study that is without interruptions and being able to prioritise time for study are big ones,’’ she said.
‘‘I can help with understanding academic terms, knowing how to research information using credible sources, setting out references and structuring an assignment correctly, for example.’’
The space had been invaluable for Jess Nichol.
She loved spending time with her two daughters Tamai (9) and Jahleigha (4) Nichol but being able to study and learn new skills made her a better mother, she said.
‘‘I think it is really good because when I was studying at home I couldn’t separate being a mum to being a student.
‘‘I just want to better myself for them.’’
Tutor Penny Fitzgerald ‘‘was just amazing — she can teach on all different levels’’.
Adult learning had boosted Ms Nichol’s confidence.
At present, she was studying for her driver’s licence, but over the past couple of years she had taken advantage of other courses, including Maori studies, budgeting, first aid, self-defence, parenting and making gifts on a budget.
‘‘There are just so many things you can learn from here.’’
Making friends and having a connection with others were other benefits of adult learning.
Her advice to others was to ‘‘grasp with both hands all opportunities’’.
❑ For more information on adult learning contact CO Reap on (03) 448-6115 or 0800 267-327, or email

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