(TMU) — On Monday, an Ethiopian woman gave birth to a baby boy and 30 minutes later took her final exams for secondary school.
Almaz Derese, 21, who is from Metu in western Ethiopia, went into labor shortly before her exams, which had already been postponed because of Ramadan, were due to begin.
Derese was determined not to wait a whole year to be able to sit for her scheduled exams.
“Although it was very hard to take an exam after giving birth, I did not want to waste the opportunity that I tirelessly worked for a decade,” she said. “Because I was rushing to sit (for) the exam, my labour wasn’t difficult at all.”
Her exams, which were in Mathematics, English, and Amharic (Ethiopia’s official language), were taken from her hospital bed thanks to efforts by her husband who convinced Derese’s school to allow her to take the tests despite the unusual circumstances.
“My husband was so supportive, and he always encouraged me to be strong in my education. When I say that I must take the exam right after giving birth, he did not hesitate to help me,” Derese, who was married at 17, said.
The region’s exam board placed an examiner in the hospital room to monitor the new mother while she took the exams.
It is common for young women to drop out of secondary school in Ethiopia—where more than 40% of girls are married before the age of 18—to give birth and return later to finish their studies.
Derese, who now plans to take a two-year course that will prepare her for university, said she was pleased with how the exams went and that her newborn son is doing very well.
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