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Unaccompanied child asylum seeker without schooling wins educational award

Norfolk County Council, 18 October 2022 00:00

An unaccompanied child asylum seeker who arrived in Norwich having never been to school has become the recipient of a prestigious Learner of the Year Award.

Hamza Mahmoud, 20, originally from Eritrea, lost his family due to civil unrest within the country and arrived on his own in Norwich. When he was 19, he joined an Adult Learning English for Speakers of Other Languages course which also incorporates maths. Hamza had never been to school in his own country, but he attended every single lesson and made stunning progress, moving exceptionally from entry level through to Level 2 within one academic year.

Hamza has proved himself to be a model learner, often helping and inspiring others within the class as well as translating from English to Eritrean where necessary. Hamza's tutor nominated him for the Learner Awards after seeing his amazing progress and how well he had adapted to education.

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: "Adult Learning provide a range of courses and we are proud of all our learners, and offer our highest congratulations to all the winners at the Adult Learner Awards.

"Hamza's award is testament to his hard work and dedication which he has shown throughout his course, and we wish him every success for the future."
Denise Saadvandi, Head of Adult Learning at Norfolk County Council, said: "These awards have highlighted so many inspirational stories about the phenomenal achievements of our learners. I am proud of the exceptional commitment and dedication of both our nominees and our staff who have provided the support and expertise to all."

Hamza said: "Adult Learning has made such a difference to my life. My English and maths have improved, and it has been the most important step for my future. I initially wanted to complete Entry Level 1 and 2 but doing that gave me the motivation to continue to pass Level 2. It has shown me that with hard work I could reach anything I want."

Hamza is now studying GCSEs and his aim is to get into university and one day become a doctor.

Every learner that was nominated deserves to be commended but there was only one winner per category:

  • Martyn Furness - Apprenticeship Learner of the Year
  • Danielle Marsh - Community Learning Learner of the Year
  • Joyce I'Hui Chen - Family Learning Learner of the Year
  • Nikki Betts - Vocational Learner of the Year
  • Lynne Vowles - Personal Development and Leisure Learner of the Year
  • Hamza Mahmoud - Foundation Skills Learner of the Year

The winners from each category were then put forward for the Overall Adult Learning Learner of the Year Award, with Hamza scooping the award for his truly inspirational journey.

Find more about Adult Learning and the range of courses available.

Watch the Adult Learning Learner Awards video on YouTube. (opens new window)

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

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