|Mrs. Juliana Godwin with her son, Sam Godwin, in front of Junior Secondary School, Gosa, Abuja signboard|
Mrs. Juliana Godwin, a 42-year-old Junior Secondary School I (JSSI) student of Junior Secondary School, Gosa, Abuja, has become one of those persons with strong will to change her condition.
Mrs. Godwin, who hails from Riyom in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, had her education stalled by lack of sponsorship, a situation that made her to drop out, in 1983, of LEA Primary School, Riyom.
“I had to leave for Jos in 1983, since my father could no longer sponsor my education to secondary school because he had no money. While I was with my cousin, I enrolled in a tailoring shop to learn dress making. I completed it within a year and six months”, she told Sunday Vanguard.
In 2001, she and her children left Jos to join her husband in Abuja, where they live at Gosa village, along Airport Road.
An industrious woman, Godwin became the bread-winner of her family. Since had skill in hair plaiting, that became a source of livelihood for her and the family. Later she ventured into hawking of water in a basin in Gosa market to boost the family’s income.
“In 2003, I was able to save some money from water hawking. I started pepper and tomato business with N1,000 from the savings. I also went into corn roasting business, but my husband stopped me from the business in 2007,” she said.
In 2008, Godwin decided to go into vocational training with a non-governmental organisation called Refocusing Nigerian Talents Organisation, RENITO, where she was trained in soap (liquid, medicated and bar), pomade and disinfectants production.
“Now I can produce and sell the products I was trained on, and I started with N1,500”, Mrs. Godwin narrated.
“I came to realise that the business was lucrative and helpful to me and my family. I decided to make savings towards going back to school after I dropped out in 1983.
“My husband was against my decision and quarrelled seriously with me. But I didn’t give up on my decision. In 2013, I went on to enrol at Junior Secondary School, Gosa, Airport Road, Abuja, where I started in JSS I F. I was able to raise N10, 000 to pay for admission expenses.
“Why I decided to start from JSSI was because I had never in my life stepped into the four walls of a secondary school. I told myself I will start from JSS I, as it will help me to have the foundation of secondary school education and to understand what I would be taught.
“My principal was surprised and asked me whether I could cope with secondary school education as an adult and a married woman. He and the staff also encouraged me to continue since I had made up my mind. But my husband continued making trouble to stop me”.
She wants her teachers and principal to treat her just like other students notwithstanding her age or as a mother, because she wishes pass through the school system, and is ready to accept every academic and moral discipline that will shape her future.
“I am the oldest person in the class of 80 students. I participate in every school activity, and I am happy with that. Even when I come late to school, the teachers do punish me just like other students, and I have no problem with that, but I do behave myself as an adult.”
She is a mother of four children, who she sponsors to the tune of N9,700 in a session while she also takes care of the family’s upkeep. “I have seen great changes in my life, and I am coping seriously. My aim is to study marketing in the university after I would have completed my senior secondary education”, she added.