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Learning a life long process
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, ALTA students viewed the acclaimed National Geographic film ‘The First Grader’. The film is set in Kenya and is based on the true story of Maruge, an 84-year-old former Mau Mau fighter who attends primary school to learn to read and write, despite protests from his village. A specially designed lesson meant that ‘The First Grader’ became a springboard for students to write about their own journey to reading and writing. Out of several hundred submissions, we have selected a few to feature in this section.
“You are never too old to learn”. Everyone learns and understands things in their own way and in their own time. Some people are slow learners and others had to deal with war, religion, racism and class. There are many people going back to school from young adults to much older people. By attending evening classes, taking a course or going to university to study for a degree people try to get a better paying position in their job. Most aged people join classes so that they can stay active, keep their minds fresh or just to be around people like themselves.
Life is a learning process whether you attend school or not. School can only teach you the basics in life. You are always learning something new everyday. People make other people feel bad about their learning disabilities but history has shown us that there have been many people in history that were not well educated but were leaders of a country, big business people, good athletes and actors. These people had learning problems but that did not stop them from becoming successful.
So even if you are in your eighties, nineties or any age you have the right to an education and today, more than ever, there are resources available to help you with whatever it is you want to learn about. Don’t sit and think about it. Don’t put it off or wait for tomorrow. Take the time today to learn about whatever it is that interests you.
Indar Poliah—Level 3
“You are never too old to learn”. At age 26 I got married and some time later my wife realised that I could not read and write. One day at work my wife called me and said to me that she saw on the internet that ALTA is giving classes to persons who had to leave school at an early age. I was now 45 years old and decided to start the ALTA classes and found it to be helping me to read and write. I started in Level 2 and now I am in Level 3. Now at my work I can write reports with confidence, and also take notes in meetings. I am in management. What I have learnt at ALTA has helped me improve my skills.
Now with renewed confidence I decided to do a computer course at UWI. As a result the company bought me a laptop so I can write my reports. As you can see it is “never too old to learn”.Play your part to build literacy. If you have time, volunteer to be an ALTA tutor, a Reading Circle guide or to assist students on the computer. If your time is already booked, sponsor an ALTA student for the year (TT$500).
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