Thirst For Education; Never Too Late
Musammat Jaygun is middle aged, maternal, lively and charismatic. Hailing from Goynar Potol village, Nayerhat Union, Chilmari Upazila, Kurigram Zila, her animated interview attracts a crowd. Her friends and neighbours, initially amused, are soon nodding along in agreement.
“We need adult education — I will tell you right off the bat”
she says, sure to make her point.
“We don’t have the light of education. I am illiterate, but my kids go to school. I have no idea what they’re studying. I can’t read their texts, I can’t understand any of it. If I go into the city, I can’t read the signs. I don’t know addresses and I don’t even know what to look for.”
She says, checking off her mental list of grievances. Her newly gathered audience loudly declare their agreement, almost drowning out Musammat.
“So if we can get the light of education from Friendship, these things will not be problems anymore. I can learn, even if it is just to sign my own name. You can never stop learning, but I never even started. My parents might not have sent me to school, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start learning now.” Musammat says, with a well-practiced motherly frown that would send her kids shrinking back.
“In my family, I have my husband and two sons. I also have two daughters, but they are married and gone now. Both my sons are in class 8. The younger one goes to a school in Notorkandhi, and the older one to the Dakheli madrasa in Rowmari. It’s more than 5 km walking distance.” She says, setting the context that she had nigh forgotten in her excitement to make her point about adult education.
She promptly remembers her demand from earlier, “As I said — I also really need it. All the hapless mothers here do. We feel so far behind, so useless. You know my daughter went to one of your schools? She got the best results in the village. That was from your school. I was so proud of her. If she can do that, it gives me a lot of hope. For her, and maybe for me. I can’t even read the label on a bottle of medicine. I really need it. So if you helped us with that, it would make a huge difference.”
“So, when can we expect to start class?” Musammat asks.
“Soon. Very soon” she is assured by the Friendship staff.
« The interview was conducted in March 2018. Friendship adolescent and adult learning program was initiated in Goynar Potol char on April, 1 2018 »