fbpx

Woman enrolled in JHS at 41 to make health officer dream reality

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
 Felicitas  at Oguaa Senior Technical School
Felicitas at Oguaa Senior Technical School

A story of determination and willpower; one of a woman’s tenacity, fortitude and a spirit that never gives up. This is Felicitas Naa’s story.

Felicitas looks ordinary until she tells her story, a story that can inspire anyone to go for the skies.

Felicitas was born in Tamale. She had her basic and middle school education in Tamale and in 1984 by age 18, when Felicitas met the “love of her life” she felt she was walking on the moon.

Her “love” promised her the moon and pledged to help her continue her education after marriage.

So young, excited and naive, Felicitas married at 18 but the love, affection and promises of her “love” soon faded into thin air.

After her marriage collapsed, she picked up different jobs just to make ends meet

The situation worsened when her husband furthered his education. Felicitas said among the problems that erupted in her marriage was the fact that her educational background was too low.

“He would always complain about my low level of education,” she pointed out.

Rough times

Life became difficult for her. At a point she was a bread seller and an adeɛyie (itenerant tailor) who went around with a sewing machine on her head trying to get her daily bread.

Her marriage finally collapsed, leaving her in a state of absolute depression with no stable source of income and three children.

Decision time
Felicitas said after some months of depression, it was a time to rise and pick up the pieces.

“I had to pick myself up and start all over again. I was 40 years then. It was time for me to decide whether it was too late or whether I would start afresh. I chose the latter.”

Re-entry

 In 2006, she enrolled  at the Pedu MA Basic schoolSo, in 2006 at age 41, Felicitas made a life-changing decision that would affect her life positively forever.

She decided to go back to her certificates and go back to school to continue with her secondary education.

But there was a hitch. After 22 years, the educational system had changed. All senior high schools Felicitas tried to gain admission into would not admit her.

Now there was the Basic Education Certificate Examinations that is used as basis for entry into senior high schools.

Felicitas was “old school” and did not have the BECE certificate.

It meant that if she wanted to still go to school, she would have to start further down the ladder, from junior high school.

“I was determined to go back to school and so this was not a difficult decision for me to make.”

Together with her brother who was a businessman in Cape Coast, they moved from one basic school to another till they found one ready to accept her.

After her marriage collapsed, she picked up different jobs just to make ends meet

She found the Pedu MA Basic School whose head teacher, one Mr Victor Zaator (now deceased) who was ready to admit her.

Mr Zaator was Felicitas’ mate during the middle school in the early 80’s and he knew her zest when it came to academic work.

Felicitas now had to get ready for school. “I had to barber my her, sew my uniforms and get ready for school,” she said with a smile.

“By this time my first daughter had completed senior high school,” she pointed out.

Determined and unperturbed, Felicitas started junior high one in September 2006 and completed in 2009.

She then gained admission to the Oguaa Senior Technical School to offer a course in General Arts.

Currently, Felicitas is enrolled at the Tamale School of Hygiene and will complete this year to be the health officer she had always desired to be.

She says she now believes all things are achievable with God and determination.

“It’s a good decision I took. I am glad I took that decision to go back to school. It changed my life completely.

"I have friends I couldn’t have had. I can understand my children better and I even look younger now,” she said with a smile.

Felicitas  at Oguaa Senior Technical School

She thanked all who helped her through her difficult times.

She says she's happy to be an inspiration to her three adult children now aged 31, 28 and 22, respectively.

Advice
For the youth she said “never give up, it’s never too late to chase your dream.”

Felicitas is currently enrolled at the Tamale School of Hygiene