Top marks for Ethiopian who wrote exams after giving birth

Top marks for Ethiopian who wrote exams after giving birth

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A woman in Ethiopia who sat her school exams in a hospital bed in June 30 minutes after giving birth has passed with a mark of 75 per cent.

Almaz Derese, 21, who is from the western town of Metu, told the BBC she was happy with her results – called a grade 3 – as she could now continue her secondary school education for another two years before applying for university.

A female student needs a 1.86 mark to pass the national grade 10 exams (for a male student it is 2) – and the best grade is a 4.

The new mother, who dreams of one day becoming an engineer, says she did not expect such a good result as she was in pain whilst writing the papers and had been tired whilst pregnant.

“During my pregnancy, I was not comfortable sleeping at night, so I used the time to study,” she told the BBC.

Had she not been pregnant or just given birth, she believes she could have achieved a higher score.


It is something her husband Tadese Tulu agrees with, but the carpenter said he could not be more proud of her achievements.

“He wants to see me educated,” Ms Almaz said, adding that her teachers and classmates had also encouraged her.

When she went into labour Mr Tadese dropped her at the hospital and then rushed off to persuade the authorities to allow her to take the exams there.

“When she was admitted to the hospital for delivery, I ensured everything was in a good condition and left her at the hospital with relatives. I rushed to the education bureau,” he told the BBC.

As a result, he missed the birth and heard his baby’s first cries over the phone.

Their baby boy is now three months old and doing well as his mother prepares herself to go back to her studies next month.

The couple have called him Yididiya, which means “God’s Gift” in Hebrew – but his father said he was known by his nickname “Abdi Bori”. This is the name of the school Ms Almaz attends and means “Hopes of Tomorrow” in the Afaan Oromo language.


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