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Alta gives hope

Student Stories
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Last week Alta began telling the stories of people enrolled in its programme.

These stories were taken from two Alta publications—At Last Adult Learners Write (an anthology of stories) and 20 years of Alta (Alta’s 20th anniversary magazine).

This week the stories continue in the hope that they will give readers insight into the minds and world of Alta students.

One Thing Good—

Presencer Smith-Watts

“When I was a child growing up I can’t remember one thing good about myself because I was always told I am no good. But I know to myself I was good because when called upon to do something for someone I always do my best and it pleased everyone but my grandmother. She did not like me at all so there was nothing I could do to please her. I tried but it was no use and that hurt like hell.

“Seeing her hug and kiss the other grandchildren, I used to feel like I am no good as she used to say. When she won’t buy me books to go to school I just went to school and gave real hell.

“One day a teacher stood up to me and said, ‘you are a good child and you need to know that so come to my class and I will take you in.’

“I went to that teacher’s class and with her I learned a lot. I never forgot her name, Mrs Hart. Because of her I am in the Alta programme and doing well. I am also in another programme preparing to sit my school leaving. My goal is to pass with distinction.”

Don’t Give Up—

Sandra Mahadeo

“I went to McBean Hindu School but I did not pass my exams. I was disappointed but my mother wanted to send me to another school but one of my friends told me that they beat you a lot there so I stayed home.

“After a few years I realised my reading and writing were very bad. One day I heard a woman talking about adult literacy classes on television. I called the station for more information and got the answer I was looking for.

“I joined the class and I could assure you their classes have done me very good. I have no intention of quitting the class that I am doing.

“I am 20 years old and not being able to read and write is not a nice feeling. So you youth out there you have a chance to go to school don’t give up—education is your future.”

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