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Condrat Aug 25

Condrat, 50, passes Maths GCSE and dreams of building an orphanage in Indonesia

If you can’t beat them, join them – that was the attitude Indonesian-born Condrat Sinaga adopted to gain a Maths GCSE at the age of 50 yesterday.

The York College & University Centre adult learner, who now lives in Acomb, also passed his English Functional Skills Level 2 course, which is the equivalent to a GCSE pass.

Condrat’s family are no strangers to educational success, though.

His wife Ronna graduated with a PhD from the University of York last year and his daughter Josephine left York College in 2020 with A* A Level grades in Maths and French and a B in Chemistry, leading to a scholarship offer from the University of Hull where she is studying Chemistry.

His son Vincent is also a former York College student and has gone on to study Accounting and Finance at York St John University.

Before enrolling for his Maths GCSE and English Functional Skills qualification, Condrat completed the College’s 15-week English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course, which is designed to help candidates get jobs, gain promotions and generally improve their skills in the workplace.

Condrat and his children arrived in the UK as student dependents of Ronna but, now, her husband wants to continue his education journey on one of the College’s part-time evening Construction courses.

He has been combining his studies with a cleaning job while volunteering at the Gateway Church Food Bank based in Acomb and is set to begin a new role as a school caretaker.

Condrat’s “dream” is to eventually become a qualified tradesman so he can earn enough money to build an orphanage in Indonesia and help address some unimaginable issues in the Asian country.

He already supports several orphanages there, having paid for 200 mango trees to be planted on their land, but he is determined to do more.

“To build my own orphanage is my dream and I want to become a tradesman so I can earn the money to do that,” he explained.

“There are a lot of poor children in Indonesia and there are a lot of cases where unmarried couples are putting their unwanted babies in rubbish bins and being charged by police. I want to be the solution and I would like to put a baby box in front of orphanages.”

A humble Condrat was also recognised this year at the York College & University Centre REACH Awards, where he won the Adult Category’s Inclusivity/Student Role Model prize.

On that honour, he said: “It was an amazing event and it was a miracle for me to win the REACH Award. None of my classmates on the English Functional Skills course could believe that I got such a prestigious prize.”