A 60-year-old man, Mr. Adalabu Seribor, who is a Junior Secondary School II (JSS II) student at Izon College, Bomadi-Overside in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, is currently the talk of the town.
Seribor, a wheelbarrow pusher popularly called Oyibo in the community, disclosed how he took the decision to go to school at old age, a development that had kept many people wondering what he wanted to achieve in school at such an age.
Speaking with Southern City News, Seribor said, “I am sixty years now and 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.
“My mother died during child birth when I was a little boy while my father was a hunter. I was bred by a grandmother after the death of my mother and later taken to a step-mother when my father remarried.
“I went through pains and hardship at 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 lay dead.
“I went through struggles all through my life history. I had the opportunity 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 went back to my father. I had no opportunity to go to school since then, and continued in hard labour to survive in life, which I am still doing.”
Narrating further how he took the decision to attend school at his current age, he said, “I realized that without education, one cannot do well in this present society. I also do not want a situation whereby someone else would interpret or write for me if eventually I am chosen to hold an office in my community.
“I make a living by pushing wheelbarrow. After school hours, I go back home to look for work to do, which I have been doing for a living. I pay my school fees from there. I am determined to complete my education because of the pains in my heart.
“I see that one cannot do well without education in this society. I do various 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.”
Seribor said he would proceed to Teachers’ Training College at the end of his secondary education in order to achieve his dream of becoming 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, then why are young people wasting themselves,” he queried.
His class teacher, Mr. Edsemi Anesah, described Seribor as a committed and hardworking student.
“My encouragement to him is that he should hold onto his determination. He is the oldest student in the school and I advise young people out there to emulate him,” Anesah added.