Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
A-LEVELS: Afghan pupils win places at uni despite worries at home
Buy this photo » Jamshid Shahin. Pictures: OX61006 Andrew Walmsley
TWO teenagers who came to Oxford’s Cheney School from war-torn Afghanistan have celebrated landing university places.
Jamshid Shahin and Maria Ghafoor are both going to Kent University after getting their grades yesterday.
Jamshid, 19, came to the school five years ago as an unaccompanied refugee with little English.
With no family in the city, he has lived alone to study for his A-Levels, a D in world development, B in business and C in Persian.
The Greater Leys pupil, who is off to study politics and international relations, said: “I am excited, I am very happy.
“It is more secure here, you have the opportunities to learn and be able to focus rather than worry about other conflict, poverty and so on.”
Jamshid said: “It was difficult to start with but I stuck in and it got easier.
“I didn’t know what to expect.”
Asked about life in England, he said: “I like the weather. I don’t like it too hot.”
Maria Ghafoor, 18, of Gipsy Lane, Headington, said worries about her families’ security in Afghanistan loomed over her studies.
Now she is to study law and hopes to specialise in crimes like murder and rape abroad.
The teenager, who came to Oxford aged six, said: “It is the sort of stuff I have seen, especially in my country where people get away with it. They get away with murder, rape so it makes me want to make a difference.”
Maria, who particularly wants to help women victims, said: “I have had a lot of things with difficulties as a family.
“I have tried to not get involved in that and go ahead and do my work.”
Cheney head of sixth form Tim Lawrence said: “We usually have a couple of people from Afghanistan in each year group.
“Jamshid isn’t the first who has come to us as an unaccompanied refugee. It presents a huge challenge for him because he has absolutely no family or network of support.
“He has been in care and left care while doing his studies to live alone.
“They get support when leaving care but it’s relatively limited compared to having support from a family.
“We do whatever we can for them but it comes down to him.”
And he said of Maria: “She has shown incredible fortitude and commitment.
It is quite an inspiration.”
Comments are closed on this article.