Never too late to learn - adult learning for everyone

Dr David Marjot, born in 1928, is a keen Learner and the validation of the importance of learning in the adult learning sector.

An interesting character, Dr Marjot attended medical school, served in the Royal Navy as a Medical Officer and also the National Health Service as a Consultant.

Dr Marjot looked up adult learning courses online and initially decided to attend evening courses in French at the Sunbury Adult Learning Centre, as his children own a property in South West France. Dr Marjot was keen to pick up some “survival French” and the chance to improve his communication skills to feel comfortable on holiday in France.

He also thoroughly enjoyed a daytime course studying Mathematics after a mere 70 year gap, under the guidance of Tutor Nicky McLean at the Molesey Henrietta Parker Centre. He recently sat the GCSE examination, hopeful of achieving a successful pass grade. Dr Marjot did mention that he had passed a Maths school certificate in 1945 and said “Maths has changed so much since then as we were overdosed on algebra and geometry!” The results will be published in August 2017.

Dr Marjot explained, "Maths is good fun, it takes you away from everything and stimulates the mind. I feel a sense of achievement and it’s nice to grasp new concepts."

He also spoke of the small learning group size and the sense of camaraderie that he enjoys. Dr Marjot thinks that the peer support is an essential part of the adult learning experience. Dr Marjot certainly enjoyed his course and the atmosphere of the group. He said, "I look forward to my class and it helps me to structure my week".

Dr Marjot shared how the GCSE course requires commitment to achieve successful results as the course runs to a tight schedule with a packed syllabus. Homework is set by the Tutor and Dr Marjot estimated that he spent about 3 hours a week completing it.

When asked what the key to success was, Dr Marjot mentioned that it was essential to plan time and be organised. "I do my best to turn up for every class. Everyone in your family and close circle needs to come to an agreement when you embark on a GCSE course that you need dedicated time and so they give you all the free time and support your studies demand as a right and not as a privilege."

Dr Marjot describes the need for an "introduction to learning" to anybody returning to study after a significant time gap. Surrey Adult Learning provides information, advice and guidance sessions to potential Learners prior to them commencing on a qualification based course.

Finally and not surprisingly, Dr Marjot has looked to further study, having applied to undertake a Masters in the Philosophy of Medicine and Psychiatry at Kings College, London. In his opinion mathematics underpins most if not all learning.

It was a pleasure and honour to spend time with Dr Marjot and listen to his life experience. SAL is proud to accompany our Learners on their journey and we wish Dr Marjot ongoing success and fulfilment.