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The 56-year-old woman whose desire to serve as a Prison officer forced her to start primary school has completed her first hurdle by finishing seven years of basic education.
Notwithstanding her age, Paulina Anning says she’s not given up on her plans as she hopes to pass the examination to enable her begin the second leg by enrolling for a three-year secondary education.
At age 49, Mrs Anning started primary three at the Weweso MA Primary School in Kumasi where she braced the odds over the years and progressed to the Junior High School at the same school. On Friday, June 17, she completed the first chapter of a possible three-chapter educational ladder.
How it started
Paulina told 3News her childhood dream has been to become a prison warden but the inability of her parents to enroll her in school became her biggest nightmare as without education, her dream appeared bleak.
But in 2009, she mustered courage and enrolled in primary three in a bid to revive her long cherished desire of becoming a Prison officer.
“All I’ve ever wanted in this life was to become a prison officer but because my parents could not send me to school, I had to forget my dream. But I now want to revive and achieve that dream,” she said.
Paulina who is a mother of four said she did not want to watch her children benefit from education alone but to be part of it, noting at the same time she wanted to serve as an example to society, especially the youth.
Few months after her enrolment, she learned how to write her full name, something that spurred her on to push further.
Her teachers told 3News she was a fast learner and a determined student; traits that made learning easy for her. The teachers say although she enjoyed playing with her classmates, she did not allow that to take the better part of her.
Elizabeth Essel, her mathematics teacher, described her as one of the most serious students in her class who became a role model to most of the students in the school because of her age. “What I can say about Aunty Paulina is that, she is such a serious student because of her enthusiasm. She was finding it a bit difficult when she started but with time she became a fast learner,” she said.
Her educational journey, she noted, has not been easy because of her role as a mother and trader. “The journey has been very rough but my determination and God’s favour has seen me through my Junior High School level,” an excited Paulina said.
Paulina’s eldest son, Isaac Anning, was initially not in favour of his mother’s idea to start school at that elderly age says he is now proud of her mother’s ability to read and write.
“I argued with her when she made known her decision to start school at age 49 because I was not comfortable seeing my mum in a school uniform. Several attempts to convince her to stop did not yield any positive result, so I had no option than to support her start school. But I am now proud of her because she can easily read and write,” Isaac said.
Paulina is hopeful of passing her BECE to continue her education to the senior high level.
She said by the time she completes her second cycle education, she would have attained the retirement age, which she fears could threaten her dream of becoming a Prison warden before the passed on. She is therefore appealing to government to at least give her the opportunity to serve as a Prison officer before she dies.