Hanisa Idris, an 18-year-old divorcee and mother of two---Firdaus, 4 and Bilal, 2, has vowed to achieve her lifelong dream----becoming a medical doctor. Hanisa, whose marriage of six years ended recently, subsequently enrolled in Makiyawa Primary School, Katsina. How does she want to achieve this seemingly tall dream? MUAZU ELAZEH spoke with her.
Hanisa Idris saw her divorce as an opportunity to acquire western education. To achieve her dream, she enrolled in Makiyawa Primary School, and is being supported by the Katsina State Conditional Cash Transfer programme, where she receives N5, 000 for her upkeep every three months.
Against all odds she wants to be a medical doctor so as to affect lives positively. And she believes she can move mountains in the medical world if adequately supported.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP WEEKEND she said, “I am confident that if sponsored, my dream to become a medical doctor will one day become real. Being a mother does not mean I can’t further my studies to obtain a degree in Medicine. I will never be discouraged by my status. I want to become a medical doctor because it will afford me the opportunity to assist my fellow women.”
Recounting her experience before the failed marriage, she said she had to drop out of school as a result of parental pressures on her to marry a man she claimed she never loved. Hanisa said she was enjoying her days in school when her father suddenly directed her to stop schooling, and married her off.
She said she was already in Primary 4 and looking forward to when she would write the Common Entrance Examination to proceed to secondary school when her father forced her into marriage, thereby cutting her dream short.
Hanisa’s plight took turn for the worse when, according to her, after giving birth to her second child, Bilal, her husband sent her packing. “My husband divorced me and said he didn’t want to see me again,” she lamented.
How does she cater for her two children without any viable business? Hanisa said she was forced to engage in menial jobs until she heard of the Katsina State government and UNICEF- supported Conditional Cash Transfer programme.
Saadu Sani is the headmaster of Makiyawa Primary School where she enrolled. He spoke to journalists on how Hanisa enrolled in his school, saying, “When she approached me and said she wanted to enrol I was at first taken aback. But after further prodding I realised she meant business, so I gladly offered her admission, and she has remained punctual since she started.
On the future of her kids, she said she would not allow them to grow up uneducated. “I will do my best to ensure that they acquire both Islamic and western education, adding, “I will never allow them to fall into a similar condition as mine. I have enrolled Firdaus this year, and her younger brother, Bilal, will join her in two years’ time.”
Hanisa said that her major source of inspiration was the CCT programme.
The CCT programme is introduced by the Katsina State government to provide financial support to female children in the state as part of measures to boost girl-child education and cover the obvious wide gap between the girl-child and male children in the state.
Sometime last year, the Katsina State government launched the programme, where girls of school age were given specified sums of money for their upkeep in school as part of measures to encourage enrolment, retention and completion of primary education.
As a result of the programme, which is being supported by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), 9,059 girls, selected from nine local government areas of the state, are being paid a certain amount of money for their upkeep while in school.
“To encourage the continuity of these girls in school, we are working out modalities of training their mothers in skills acquisition to enable them to provide the basic educational needs of the girls, and in so doing support our drive to not only ensure retention and completion of primary school education, but continuation beyond acquiring the First School Leaving Certificate,” an official of the programme said.