Despite life’s hurdles, 60-year-old Adalabu Seribor, deemed it fit to return to school after losing his mother at a very tender age and forced to grow up under relations in Ekeremor, Bayelsa State.
The JSS 2 student of Izon College, Bomadi- Overside in Bomadi Local Government Area, Delta State narrated how he went to Elementary school and later dropped out.
Speaking to Niger-Delta Voice, Seribor, fondly called Oyibo by his community said: “I decided to go to school at this age because I perpetually feel the pain of being an illiterate in this modern world where everything has to do with English and education. I also do not want a situation whereby someone else would interprete or write for me if eventually I am chosen to hold an office in my community.
“I am sixty years now and the reason why I decided to go to school at this age is because I perpetually feel the pain of being an illiterate in this modern world where everything has to do with English and education. My mother died during childbirth when I was a little boy, while my father was a hunter. I was raised by a grandmother after the death of my mother and later taken to a step-mother when my father remarried.
“I went through discomfort and hardship from my tender age to adulthood. It would interest you to know that I was so tender at the time my mother died that I was crying for food while she laid dead. I went through struggles all through my life. I was opportune to go to school at my young age, when a relative, who was a magistrate at Ekeremor in Bayelsa State, took me to his house, but because of early morning beatings due to my failure to greet him when rising from bed, I fled back to my father. I had no opportunity to go to school since then, and continued doing menial jobs to survive, which I am still doing.
“I realized that without education one cannot do well in this present society. I also do not want a situation whereby someone else would interprete or write for me if eventually I am chosen to hold an office in my community.
“I am a truck-pusher. After school hours, I go back home to look for work to do, which I have been doing to earn a living. I pay my school fees from there. I am determined to complete my education because of the pains in my heart. Have come to realise that one cannot do well without education in this society. I do all type of menial jobs for a living: I pack dirt from gutters, I pack sand, clear grasses in people’s compounds and pack soak away faeces in the dead of the night. I am a JSS II student and by the grace of God I will finish from this school.”
When asked what he planned to do in future after school, Seribor said: “When am through with my education here, I will proceed to Teacher Training College because I want to become a teacher. I want to teach and I advised young boys and girls wasting their time and years roaming the streets to go to school. If I can go to school at my age, then why are young people wasting their time and opportunity to acquire education?”
Commending Seribor’s decision to return to school despite his age, a business mogul in the cosmopolitan community, Mr. Christian Agu, said: “I never believed that somebody of this age will ever dream of going to secondary school, it is quite amazing. I know him and I sometimes call him to work for me. But I never knew he had this determination. I want to counsel young people, who have the opportunity to go to school to emulate him.”
His class teacher, Mr. Edesemi Anesah, added: “My encouragement to him is that he should hold unto his determination. He is the oldest student in the school and my advice to young people out there is to emulate him.”