‘Why I Finished Secondary School At Age 59’ —Woman Narrates

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Mama Habiba Samanja completed her secondary school education as an adult at the age of 59. She graduated from the LCCN Cathedral Memorial College Comprehensive, Yola on August 9, 2023.

In this interview with HitGist she reveals why she had to go to secondary school at such advanced age.

Tell Us About Yourself Mama.

I am a cleaner at LCCN Cathedral, Yola. I’m a widow, my husband died 19 years ago. He died in 2004. He was a policeman. I had three children, but one died, remaining two. I’m from Song local government in Adamawa State but I live in Yola. I will be 60 years in November.

Why I Finished Secondary School At Age 59

How Did You Manage To Train Your Kids After The Demise Of Your Husband?

When he was alive, we both managed to train them in school but after his death, I had to do it alone. I had to farm, sell the produce to get money and sponsor them in school.

When my husband died, my eldest child was schooling at Federal College of Education, FCE, while the other one was in junior secondary school, JSS2. I couldn’t sponsor them further, the one in secondary school after graduation didn’t further and same thing with the one in FCE.

Mama You Recently Finished Secondary School, Which School Did You Attend?

I attended LCCN Cathedral Memorial College Comprehensive. I started in JSS1.

Where Did You Attend Your Primary School?

I began my primary school at Saint Theresa in Yola town before I did my Common Entrance Examination together with the kids attending school there. After, I came to LCCN Cathedral and joined the adult education for women. So, after joining them, I went and joined their secondary school in JSS1 to SS3 and started attending classes.

Why I Finished Secondary School At Age 59

 

What Was Your Greatest Challenge While In School?

 

I couldn’t afford to pay for my WAEC examination, so I only managed to pay for NECO. It was a sad one for me.

What Motivated You Into Going To School At Your Age?

What touched me into going to school at my age was that since I was a child, my dad refused me the privilege of going to school. He said he didn’t see the need for girls to go to school. So, since then I kept nursing the desire to go to school one day.

Another thing that motivated me was that each time I go to places that require I write my name, and sometimes even among a large crowd and an announcement is made such as “if you know you can not write your name on the attendance, raise up your hand we will assist you,” I used to feel bad about it. Deep within me I never liked it.

When You found Yourself In School Environment How Did You Feel?

I felt so happy and fulfilled. And having finished school, I now feel that my mind is at rest. Whether the certificate is going to earn me a job or not, whether I’m going to use it for anything or not, all I feel is that I’m satisfied finally. I have finally attended the school I have been dreaming to attend. Thank God.

I never felt intimidated attending classes because there was the children section and there was adult section in the secondary school. We only got mixed with the children when writing the National Examination Council (NECO) examination.

Why I Finished Secondary School At Age 59

When You Told People About Your Intention Of Going To School, What Were Was Their Reaction?

People were asking me what I will do with school especially now that I’m old? But I usually tell them that I have made up my mind to go to school, nothing will stop me.

What Do You Advise Youths Who Easily Give Up Their Dreams?

Even before going to school, I have been advising youths to go to school, school is good. In life generally, if you get the chance, make sure you go to school before old age catch up with you. There’s no old age in school. Make sure you go to school.

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