“I turned my life around through education”
Cardiff mum, Aqsa Ahmed-Hussein, says that education restored her confidence and helped her build a career.
After agreeing to an arranged marriage at the age of 18, education was the furthest thing from Aqsa’s mind. By 28 she had lost her confidence, seeing herself as just a wife and mum.
When her fourth child was due to start school, she knew she needed to update her skills to support her family and returned to education as an adult. Now 41, Aqsa is a classroom assistant and considering further training to become a teacher.
Aqsa said: “I was still in my final year of A-Levels when I had an arranged marriage with a relative from Pakistan. I returned to Cardiff to finish my exams but spent all my time preparing documents for my husband’s visa.
“When my husband moved to Cardiff it was a culture shock for him. I was expected to only take on the role of wife and mother; I started to lose my sense of self. Eventually I had the strength to face my reality and apply for a divorce.
“My initial reason for going back to education as an adult was to help my children with their homework. One course led to another and I moved on to more advanced courses, building on my skills.
Through adult education anything is possible
“I felt like I was getting my identity back and started to think about possible careers. I started volunteering at my daughter’s school to get some teaching experience and enrolled on a teaching assistant course.
“When I think about where I was just a few years ago I feel so lucky to have come out the other side. Going back to education as an adult has shown me anything is possible.”
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