Literacy brings joy to scores of elderly

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Literacy brings joy

More than 450 elderly men and women have joined adult education classes in various towns in Tabuk, resulting in many experiencing the joy of reading the Holy Qur’an for the first time.

The Ministry of Education launched the classes two months ago, which are part of its summer literacy program.

In one of the classes in Al-Jahra, Mufreh Al-Anazi raised his hand to ask his teacher permission to recite chapter Al-Nas which he learned by heart when he was younger. He learned to read only after joining the class. He recited the verses along with his classmates.

“This is the happiest moment of my life. I hope this will make up for the things I could not learn when I was younger, because of difficult circumstances in my life,” Al-Anazi told the Saudi Press Agency.

Kateb Al-Anazi, 70, another avid learner, expressed similar sentiments. “When I joined the class, I did not know how to read or write because I was a shepherd. With the persuasion of my friends and a desire to read the Holy Qur’an, I finally made up my mind to join the class.”

Jamaan Al-Anazi, 80, said that he was impressed with the government’s literacy drive.

There are about 300 Saudi learners who joined the classes, which includes a dawa program to educate participants about religious and worldly matters, including hygiene and social issues, said Ghanim Al-Anazi, executive director of the campaign and director of the Taima education office.

He said more than 150 elderly women also joined the program. Twelve women are teaching them lessons on culture, hygiene, religion, health and social matters. They would eventually participate in community programs and contests to memorize the Holy Qur’an.

”We found these ladies determined to learn reading and writing, and gain other knowledge,” said Huda Abu Khaysha, director of adult education at the education department in Tabuk and executive president of the summer literacy campaign.
Umm Muhammad, 60, thanked the government, particularly Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, for helping her and other illiterate women to read and write.

“This campaign has given me the opportunity to learn the Holy Qur’an, which I missed out on when I was young,” she said.

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