This system continued for a while until I was in year six of my primary school education. At this point we were about to write our common entrance examination into junior secondary school. One night, my dad woke me up and said: ”Miriam, secondary school education is too expensive and I cannot afford to send you there. Im sorry. ” My heart shattered into a million pieces but I understood. It wasn his fault, he wanted to but could no longer afford it. So I told him: ”Baba, don worry. God will provide. ” I patted him on the shoulder and gave him a hug. ”Youll always be the best dad in the whole world, I love you Baba. ” I said this to him seeing the disappointment in his eyes towards himself. I went on to my room and wept bitterly. Now my dreams of becoming a petrochemical engineer will be shattered. The only prayer I could mutter was ”God please help me, don let my dreams die. ”
My prayer was answered. One day, we were all in our classroom when there was a sudden call for an assembly for all the students in year six. We were all surprised as we wondered what on earth could be the reason for this. We all went down to the assembly ground to hear what the headmaster had to say. He had an announcement to make. He said ”good afternoon students. ” We replied: ”good afternoon sir ”. He went further to say: ” I have a special announcement to make for the year six pupils in particular. We received an information that there is a scholarship opportunity for one lucky student who will score the highest mark in the common entrance examination. The scholarship will sponsor the student from the junior secondary school one up till senior secondary school three. You will not need to pay one kobo for your entire secondary schooling period. We all screamed in excitement as we were dismissed and returned back to our classroom. Each of us left that assembly ground with the determination to win that scholarship and of course, this was a lifetime opportunity for a little girl who always came first in her class and desperately needed sponsorship for her secondary school education to continue.
I went back home and told my parents. They were really excited and promised to help me study. Although they weren educated, they helped by encouraging me and this went a long way. I studied hard and overnight everyday to get my desired result. I always prayed to God for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. After the exams were done, we graduated primary school and my entire family was present to show support and love. Some weeks later, our results were released. We went to check as the results were pasted on our schools notice board. I was extremely nervous and scared but my mum told me to have faith. I went to school to check. I started checking from bottom to top. I saw the names of the girls whod always pick on me for being poor at the bottom of the list. I was low-key kind of happy. You can blame me. But that wasn my priority so I kept on checking upwards for my name. I got to the top and saw my name at the top of the list. I screamed so loud and started jumping up like a crazy person. The extreme happiness and joy I felt was unexplainable. Miriam was going to secondary school.
I ran home with so much speed to tell my family. I got home and I shouted ”Baba, mama, everybody come oh! ” My parents and siblings all ran out startled and wondering what exactly it was that made me shout like that that Saturday afternoon they had come back from farm work in the morning. They looked so confused but they knew for the one who hardly express happiness, it must be something really great for me to yell like that. ”What is it? ”they all asked. ”I came out on top, Im going to secondary school! ” They all screamed and started to rejoice. My older brother Suleiman who was born after Ahmed lifted me unto his shoulders as he danced around. Everyone was so proud of me and I was proud of me too. We no longer had to worry about sending me to school because now I was getting a scholarship that would take care of everything. Now Baba could keep the money he got from his farms, we could eat well than we used to and my other siblings could learn a trade because it was way cheaper to learn a trade than to go to the school with the lowest standard then.
I was going to be sponsored to the best school where all the rich mens kids attended. Now I could get a better education than i was getting.