Welcome! Read the latest issue of PROGRESS, featuring civics programs in Virginia. Read PROGRESS

Education For Adults

by Manal Abdelrahman

photo shows a crowd of smiling graduates wearing caps and gownsMy name is Manal. I am married and a mother of four children. I spent my childhood in a beautiful city called Wad Madani, which is the largest city in Sudan. When I started school, I was seven years old. I remembered my first day
at school, and I was very happy that I would finally go to school like my older sisters that I looked up to at the time. Just carrying my backpack made me feel like them. We had uniforms and I wore a beautiful green dress and white
socks with black shoes. At the time, I had two other sisters in the same school, close to home. My older sisters were always there for me and held my hands throughout school and chose a seat for me in class. There were about forty or more students in my class. In school, everyone was separated by gender.

When I came to America, all my thoughts were about my family and my children. They were in early stages of life. It was difficult to think about studying or working. After they were in school, I had time to catch up with my education. I completed elementary, middle and half of high school. I did not complete my studies.

When I found out that there was an adult school near my area, I was very excited and happy. I immediately and easily registered. I received amazing help and encouragement from the school. I was impressed by their good treatment toward the students. I had a language barrier, but I did not feel that way, nor did my English teacher make me feel that I was not good in English. I felt very welcomed by everyone. I struggled with my grammar. At one point, I remember using past, present, and future tenses at the same time in one sentence. I liked and appreciated all the teachers in the US, especially my teacher.

Everyone has goals and dreams that they wish to achieve, but you are supposed to work on them and seize the opportunities and chances that help you to do so. One of the most important things to always keep in mind is to never give up or doubt yourself when things get difficult. That’s what makes the journey amazing and beautiful. No matter what, we have to keep going ‘till we achieve our goals.

Adult education has a lot of obstacles. Many students face several problems, including lack of full-time study due to other responsibilities they have outside of education. Education is a very important aspect of life which can make people’s lives very successful. Education has no age or time limit and there is no excuse for education, especially in today’s society. Technology makes education easier than it was many years ago. When I came to the United States, I realized that I had educational opportunities here that I did not have in my home country.