express news service
Kozhikode: In the first five years of schooling, Ramla PK topped her class. But while in class 6, he was forced to leave. reason? She was married off at the age of 12. Belonging to a conservative Muslim family, her chances of cashing in on her academic career in 1989 appeared slim. After becoming a mother of four children, at 25, how bright will her prospects be?
If people thought it was still hazy, Ramla has proved them wrong. Now 45, she has earned a master’s degree in Arabic, passed the state eligibility test and is a high school teacher at the government-aided TIM Girls HSS in Nadapuram.
Ramla says, “I could not even imagine myself without completing 10th standard. But I did not know how to resume my education.” She then went to attend a class by an engineer in government service. She dropped out of school in Class 4, but started education again at the age of 17, she recalls.
“That was the trigger I was waiting for. If a Class 4 dropout can become an engineer, why can’t I study till Class 6? That question hit me,” she says. Khadija’s only daughter, Ramla He first shared his ambition with his stepfather, Pokkar Musaliar.
He readily agreed and registered for SSLC in private mode. At the age of 26, she passed 10th standard, and registered for Afzal-ul-Ulama – a two-year foundation course in Arabic at Islamiyya College in Kuttiadi. She joined the undergraduate degree course in the same college, graduating in 2010.
“A lot of people supported me. A BSNL employee who came to my house for census told me that those who have turned 18 can take the SSLC exam. Mumtaz, my neighbor, gave me textbooks. Some teachers found time to teach me at home. There were also occasions when he had to go back because my young children would not let me attend the class,” recalls Ramla with a smile.
Husband supported me in fulfilling my dreams: Ramla
Looking at the job of a teacher, she wanted to pursue a diploma course in Language Education (DLed), which at that time was equivalent to B.Ed. She got in touch with the government TTI in Nadakkvu, only to be told disappointingly that the application deadline had passed. But a ray of hope appeared. “The officials told me that they can accept me if the Director of Public Instruction (DPI) allows.
Luckily, I got DPI approval,” she says. The one-year course at Nadakkavu, 65 km away, was troublesome as Ramla had to leave her four children – two girls and a boy – at home and stay in a hostel. “Those were at the time of trial. But my mother stayed at my house to take care of the children. Two young children used to go to the Anganwadi while my mother used to manage the other two.
Somehow, I endured it all and completed the course in 2012,” she says. In the same year, on June 4, Ramla enrolled as an Arabic teacher at TIM School. While in the profession, she completed her master’s and passed SET. Slowly but steadily, he had wiped away the tears of his closed education. Ramla says that her husband Kunjabadullah MT supported her wholeheartedly in pursuing her dreams.
Her eldest son is now employed in Abu Dhabi while the other three are pursuing higher education. Recently, there was a reason for great happiness for the family, as the youngest girl, Humna, cleared NEET with 13th rank in the state.