Night classes open up new opportunities for parents

Abdah Shabodien, 32, a mother of three from Hanover Park, scored a Bachelor’s matric pass.

A group of mothers and fathers graduated with their matric certificates in Manenberg last week.

Abdah Shabodien, 32, a mother of three from Hanover Park who got a Bachelor’s pass, said Covid-19 had motivated her to complete her matric.

She was one of the eight graduates who attended night classes at the Leadership College, in Primrose Park, from Mondays to Thursdays and on Saturdays. The group graduated on Tuesday August 24.

In January last year, Manenberg mom Yumna Alexander started the Hopeful Leaders night school in Manenberg and Hanover Park because of her personal experience of dropping out of school without getting her matric certificate. She went on to get it later, in 2012.

“More people need to become employable and be motivators to their children and others out there,” she said. “Children are more at home than at school, standing on corners Just maybe, through this, we can encourage them to complete their education.”

Ms Shabodien worked in the travel industry and things were going well for her before the pandemic, but when it hit South Africa, in March last year, the travel industry took a big knock as travel was restricted to curb the spread of the virus.

Ms Shabodien decided she needed to get her matric certificate to apply for other jobs in case she lost hers.

“I saw the Hopeful leaders Facebook page, and I thought I needed to do it,” she said. “I registered in December last year and started in February this year. I knew that I needed to get out of the comfort zone I was in, and I’m so thankful I made that decision because I lost my job,” she said.

During her final exams in June this year, Ms Shabodien was retrenched, and she had to stay motivated while taking care of her three children.

“It was a bit difficult to juggle kids and work and night school, but I had a great support system from my family. My children are so happy for me,” she said.

Father of four, Ahmed Mehtar, 40, from Manenberg, said his wife and children had been his biggest motivators to get his matric.

Another graduate, father of four, Ahmed Mehtar, 40, from Manenberg, said landing a good to provide for his wife, Yumna, and their children had been his biggest motivation.

“Yumna Inspired me to get my matric and I just did it. My daughter will be in high school next year, so I want to be an inspiration for her and the rest of my children. Many people older than me have also done it, so they motivated me to do this, and I really encourage others to do it as well.”