Home Education 15 Years In One Class, And I Won’t Back Out

15 Years In One Class, And I Won’t Back Out

Joseph has been in class one for 15 years. Despite all he's still determined..
Joseph has been in class one for 15 years. Despite all he's still determined..

It is a story of determination; pushed by the dream of someday he will make a progress in his life. For most of us, we could have given up and forgotten years ago.

But for Joseph, it has been a whole 15 years, in one class. Yet his hope of his situation changing still is high.

Impossible, right?

Well, like any other parent when Nyirenza Donatha, sent her son Joseph to class at the age of six. It was her dream that soon he would be out of school.

Making great moves and working to fulfill his dreams. But now all she does is hope that someday, he will manage to make progress.

Joseph has been in class one for 15 years. Despite all he's still determined..
Joseph has been in class one for 15 years. Despite all, he’s still determined…

Am Still Determined

According to his mother, he is a child that never misses class. His dedication and dream to be successful keep her going. He someday hopes to be a president.

His dream and a promise he made to himself that someday he will graduate and put on a gold crown. Are what makes him, go to school every day.

He has been in one class for 15 years. This is a result of a possible mental illness that makes him forgetful. According to him as the teacher teaches in class, he is lost in a daydream or hallucinating.

He only recalls what he learned for a while before completely forgetting, resulting in poor performance. His teachers say with his performance he can never make progress. As he is always last in class and this position is nowhere close to changing.


In his position bullying is not something he can escape easily. Especially from those who have been in the same class as him and have progressed with their education.

He says he has to endure as he has to achieve his dream. Which can only happen if he progresses from the class he is in.

It is his desire to learn, for me even after 15 years

“They call me an empty head. Others call me old man.” He explains as he continues on how his fellow students bully him. The teachers also have no hope in him progressing.

They also tell him that he is getting close to receiving his pension. he admits that it hurts him. But he has to endure since going through school is the only way he can achieve his goals.

As his mother states, he has never lacked his school necessities. His school fee is always fully paid. His family depends on agriculture.

joseph and his class teacher
Joseph and his class teacher

According to his class teacher, Chantal Umuhoza, once a fellow student in 2006. His situation never improves. Thus as she teaches she puts him together with brighter students.

They help him understand what she teaches but eventually he forgets.

Standing among his classmates, it is hard to identify him as his small body size makes him fit in easily. Despite repeating several times in school. Every day he goes to school, his determination and desire to make his parents proud remains.

He forgets everything

His mother says he forgets everything, she gives an example of how she sends him to the shop. He forgets and comes home empty-handed or comes back with something else.

Thus she accompanies him to the shops or writes down a list for him.

She gives instances where she sends him to get sugar and he ends up coming with rice. She has to go back to the shops which subjects her to insults from the shopkeepers.

But now they are getting to understand him and they have now resulted to calling her to confirm his purchases. Or ask him twice till they are sure that’s what he was to bring back home.

boy reading a book
Boy reading a book

“He is a nice boy. He helps me with chores before going to school.” narrates his mother. She says despite his mental illness that makes him forget everything, he is hardworking and responsible. For her, it is his dedication, passion, zeal, and hunger to learn that she is pleased with.

Both mother and son hope that someday he will make progress and he can fulfill his dreams. Joseph still maintains as long as he achieves his dreams.

Nothing that comes his way will stop him from pushing on. Even after being bullied and his peers making big moves 15 years later and he still is in school.

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