Mother-of-four returns to JSS1 31 years after dropping out

Despite finacial contraints and the diapproval of her husband, Mrs Juliana Godwin, has returned to school as a JSSI student with her sight set on a university degree, over 31 years after she dropped out.

A 42-year-old mother of four children, Mrs Juliana Godwin, has returned to school to complete her education over 31 years after she dropped out of school due to financial constraints.

Mrs Juliana, a native of Riyom in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, is presently a Junior Secondary School I (JSSI) student at the Junior Secondary School, Gosa, Abuja, same school one of her children attends, according to a report.

She is set to get back the lost opportunities after financial constraints had stalled her education in 1983.

“I had to leave for Jos in 1983, since my father could no longer sponsor my education to secondary school because he had no money," she said.

Her determination to return to the classroom, with kids a third of her age is characteristic of her dogged nature.

Between 1984 and the present, she has taken on several trades and menial jobs, including water vending, hawking and hair plaiting, in her role as the bread winner for a fairly large family.

"While I was with my cousin, I enrolled in a tailoring shop to learn dress making. I completed it within a year and six months”, she said.

“In 2003, I was able to save some money from water hawking. I started pepper and tomato business with N1,000 from the savings. I also went into corn roasting business, but my husband stopped me from the business in 2007."

Her hunger for formal education led her to enrol with the Refocusing Nigerian Talents Organisation (RENITO), a non-governmental organisation which gave her valuable training on soap (liquid, medicated and bar), petroleum jelly (pomade) and disinfectants production.

“I came to realise that the business was lucrative and helpful to me and my family. I decided to make savings towards going back to school after I dropped out in 1983."

Mrs Juliana's commendable decision to return to the classroom is however not going down well with her husband, despite the fact that she is bearing the cost by herself.

“My husband was against my decision and quarrelled seriously with me.

"But I didn’t give up on my decision. In 2013, I went on to enrol at Junior Secondary School, Gosa, Airport Road, Abuja, where I started in JSS I F.

"I was able to raise N10, 000 to pay for admission expenses."

The final evidence of her interest in learning is the fact that she enrolled at the Junior Secondary level.

"I told myself I will start from JSS I, as it will help me to have the foundation of secondary school education and to understand what I would be taught," she said of the decision.

Despite being by far the oldest person in her class (and school) she "is ready to accept every academic and moral discipline that will shape her future", urging the teachers to punish her “just like other students."

With her sights set on a university degree, there is no stopping Mrs Juliana.

“I have seen great changes in my life, and I am coping seriously.

"My aim is to study marketing in the university after I would have completed my senior secondary education."

Of a truth, where there is a will, there is always a way.

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