At 50 years old, Zita Adrian-Ameerally, a trained Agriculture Science Teacher graduated from the University of Guyana Berbice Campus with a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration, making her the oldest graduating person in her class in 2016.
It is now more than 30 years since she joined the teaching profession at age 18 in her Hometown, Moruka in Region One. Her journey to a career in education started at the Santa Rosa Primary School.
She taught for two years, but being young in the profession and with some level of uncertainty, she ventured to work as a typist clerk at the then Ministry of Works. Shortly after, she worked as a proofreader at a newspaper company. It was there that she saw an advertisement for students to pursue studies at the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) and knew this is what she wanted.
“While I was there, I enjoyed reading the news first hand but was still not comfortable since I know that was not my speciality. However, while reading, I came upon an advertisement for students to pursue studies at Guyana School of Agriculture and I was awed. I was happy, and instantly I knew that was the exact opportunity I was waiting for since I had a passion for Agriculture since in primary school. So, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.”
Coming from a humble family, Zita knew her parents could not afford to pay for her tuitions, so she applied for a scholarship through the Hinterland Scholarship Programme and it was granted.
After graduating from the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), she enrolled, the same year, at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) and graduated as a Class One – Grade One teacher thereafter.
After studies, Zita opted to give back to her community in Region One where she returned to teaching, but this time at the Santa Rosa Secondary School where she taught Agricultural Science. This lasted for the next four years where she worked with students from Grade 7-11. With her drive, passion and enthusiasm, she held a remarkable 100 per cent pass in Grades One to Three for her four-year stint there.
She later married and migrated to the East Berbice Corentyne area with her husband.
She was transferred to the JC Chandisingh Secondary School after her marriage, where she started as an Acting Head of Department (HOD) for Agricultural Science before being confirmed two years later in the said position.
Still not satisfied, in her quest for further knowledge in Agriculture, she applied to read for a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Guyana Berbice Tain Campus (UGBC). She, however, could not proceed as it was a full-time course which posed a challenge for her, so she decided to shift into administration where she initially did a certificate programme before graduating with a Bachelors in 2016.
The journey for her, despite being a tough one, was very rewarding.
Apart from her regular classroom duties, Zita offered extra lessons free of cost to her students before leaving to go to her classes at the UGBC. She would then return home and complete her chores for her family and prepare her notes for school as well as find time to study.
“Getting this far was a heavy task that I undertook because it was like having two jobs at the same time. After work, to university, then to my home where I had to tend to my house chores and my kids. However, I am thankful to Almighty Allah for seeing me through along with the support of my understanding and supportive husband, kids, and other relatives.”
In 2016, she suffered a broken ankle which resulted in her being absent for an entire school term, but this did not deter her. With the assistance from her husband, she ensured her students were receiving the knowledge they needed.
“They all passed with Grades One, Two and Three,” she said with a beaming look of satisfaction.
Like many teachers across Guyana, Zita would not trade her career for anything else in the world despite the hard work needed since they know that the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.
“My philosophy as a teacher and what I lived by is to never give up, always be determined, once there is a beginning there is always an ending and the harder the journey the sweeter the reward”.