Defying all odds: Evans pursues school beyond normal age

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Evans Chota’s dream from a tender age has always been to become a teacher. 

Born and raised in Kasama at Chibabo village, Evans, 25, only started grade one at the age of eleven at a school, which is 8 kilometres away from his home.

“I wanted to go to school early but I had to wait until I turned 11 years to start school because the nearest school was 8km away and we had to cross a river which was extremely dangerous especially during the rainy season. I was at that school until grade six,” Evans said.

Unfortunately, his mother died in 2008 while Evans was 15 years old and his father passed-on two years later, prompting him to stop going to school.
His hope to return to school was rekindled when his mother’s brother took him from the village to Chililabombwe, but alas, he stayed at home and never went to school.

Evans still longed to finish school and did part-time jobs to try and raise money for school but this didn’t work.
Fortunately for Evans, KCM had started an Adult Literacy programme in conjunction with the Ministry of Education in 2014 as part of the golden jubilee celebrations and Evans enrolled and wrote his grade 7 examinations and passed.

He said, “When I enrolled in the adult literacy class at Twafwane Primary School, some of my friends mocked me and said I should just quit and find a job in the mine instead of learning with old people and that I would go nowhere,” he recounted.

“My aunt encouraged me to go back to school. Passing the grade 7 exams gave me the resolve to continue my studies and pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.
Fortunately, KCM extended the programme beyond 2014 so I started grade 8 at Chililabombwe Secondary School until I wrote my grade 9 exams in 2017 and made it to grade 10.”

Prior to writing his grade 9 exams, Evans sat for separate examinations under the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) in Food Production and acquired a Trade Test Certificate.

“Like a dream I have three certificates to my name. I am thankful to the sponsors of the adult literacy programme, KCM. I am more determined than ever to complete my education no matter what. I dream of going to the University of Zambia in Lusaka and get a degree in Geography. You know, I have never been to Lusaka in my whole life. It would be nice to go there someday,” he said.

Evans encouraged his fellow youths to never give up on their dreams but pursue them to the end. He said with God on their side, everything is possible.

Evans also plans to set up a business in the food industry and provide employment for other youths/Konkola News.

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