In recognition of the ninth annual International Adult Learners’ Week April 2 to 9, the public is being encouraged to reflect on how lifelong learning creates more opportunities for everyone.
The week was founded by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to celebrate ready access to continuing higher education, an offering that transformed the life of at least one White Rock resident.
Danny Pendhall had worked in Canada for 23 years, mostly in customer service, when he lost his job 1½ years ago. After meeting with a career counsellor, he decided to follow the same career, and began the Career Development Practitioner Certificate program at Simon Fraser University last March. He finished the following August, and now works for the Progressive Intercultural Community Services’ employment program in White Rock.
Pendhall teaches classes and meets with people who need work. Originally from Malaysia and having the ability to speak eight languages, Pendhall is especially passionate about helping immigrants learn to navigate the North American job market.
Helen Wussow, SFU dean of Continuing Studies, said UNESCO’s sponsorship of International Adult Learners Week indicates the necessity for universities to serve working adults’ desire to continue their education.
“Many SFU Continuing Studies students already have some post-secondary education, and yet they want to keep learning – either to prepare for a career change or to boost an already successful career,” she said in a release.