Razia Fez

Finalist

2021

Finalist

Razia arrived in the UK from Afghanistan knowing very little English. Motivated by a desire to support her children and to be able to live her life independently, she enrolled on Entry 2 Level ESOL. Since then, Razia has passed a GCSE in English and now aspires to help other people to discover the benefits of learning. 

When I arrived in the UK I could barely speak or understand English. I’d started my first ESOL course when I arrived here in 2007 but put my education on hold during pregnancy and looking after my three young children.

I felt inferior and feared that my life here would be gloomy and dark. I was dependent on my husband for simple things like booking a doctor’s appointment and attending parent’s evenings and I realised that to be able to support my children in every aspect of their life I would have to understand this country’s language, culture and values – and before long, my outlook changed.

I restarted learning in 2015 more passionate than ever, eager to express myself, my ideas and feelings. I was amazed at how quickly my confidence grew. Now, my ambition is to train as a teaching assistant and help women like me who believe learning is a taboo for them, and who aren’t aware of the joy learning can bring.

After improving my English, I started taking various vocational and employability skills courses. I’ve taken my first big step towards my career goal and completed my first Teaching Assistant course. I owe this life-changing experience to all my amazing teachers who not only taught me but also inspired, supported and guided me along this learning path.

Sarah, a Curriculum Manager at the Redbridge Institute of Adult Education where Razia studies, said: “Since restarting learning, Razia has been an enthusiastic and effective ambassador for Adult Learning, not only for herself and her wider family, but also her neighbourhood and friends. She achieved all this whilst looking after her 3 children and helping her husband with his work. Her tutors say “Razia is an inspiration and deserves to reach for the stars.”