RaPAL

Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Mustafe Nor

Mustafe Nor, TAFE Brisbane

Mustafe Nor

My family were lucky to escape…

I was born in Hargeisa, the capital city of Somalia. Both my parents are Somalis too. I have five sisters and four brothers. When I was five years old, a war began in Somalia. People started to leave the country because it was no longer safe. My family were very lucky as we were able to move to New Zealand. I lived there for seven years.

When I was a young boy in New Zealand, I couldn’t focus at school. I would always get in trouble because I was playing around and not listening. I would get in trouble at home, at school, and everywhere. I was kicked out of many schools. I was fighting all the time and breaking windows of homes and cars. I was too much to handle for anyone. I even went to juvenile detention for a week. My mum and dad decided to send me back to Somalia to live with my grandma. There were several reasons for this. If I misbehaved in New Zealand, I would not get into much trouble. In Somalia the schools are strict and teachers hit students if they misbehave or get something wrong. I could also learn about my religion, Islam.

After nine years in Somalia I came to Australia. I now study in the Skills for Employment and Education (SEE) course at TAFE Queensland, Southbank. I also work on weekends at a fruit shop, where I do odd jobs and help stack the shelves. The SEE course is for adults who need help with their English speaking, reading and writing and maths. I decided to participate in SEE because most of the people that go there are adults and they respect you for who you are. There are many people from different religions and backgrounds. There are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and people of no faith, yet we all get along.

TAFE Queensland is great. I have made many good friends. My teachers like me because I am a good student and my teachers are really kind. My reading and writing is improving day by day. I now have confidence to talk to anybody. I would advise other adults or teenagers who dropped out of school to further their education. It is vital to have faith in yourself so that you can make great things happen. I am studying hard and try my very best to achieve my dreams because I want to become a professional football coach. I have adapted well to TAFE Queensland. Thanks to what I have learned there, I have a job and am now earning money and sending some to my grandma. I want her to know that I haven’t forgotten her.

I have also learned that if you keep dreaming and believing you can go far. Education is also important. Whether you are old or if you are young, I believe through education we can change our world for the better.

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