World's oldest primary school pupil

By Drum Digital
26 January 2015

The Kenyan great-grandmother is now the world's oldest primary school pupil.

Priscilla Sitienei has enrolled in primary school for the first time in her life – at the age of 90.

The Kenyan great-grandmother is now the world's oldest primary school pupil as she seeks to encourage young people to pursue formal education.

She also wants to read the Bible.

She joined Leaders Vision Preparatory School five years ago and has also served her village of Ndalat in the Rift Valley, Kenya, as a midwife for the past 65 years.

Priscilla Sitienei (2)

She spends her lunchtime telling stories to her classmates under trees near the playing fields to ensure her knowledge of local customs are passed on.

Affectionately known as Gogo, which means grandmother in the local Kalenjin language, she says at 90 she’s finally learning to read and write – an opportunity she never had as a child.

The former midwife is determined to learn how to read and write and attends every class, including dance, English and PE in the same uniform as the rest of her classmates.

"I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth, don't look back and run to your father," she told the BBC.

Priscilla follows in the footsteps of the late Kimani Maruge (84), who was the subject of a British-produced film called The First Grader, when he enrolled in a primary school in Eldoret, Kenya, after the Government announced the roll-out of free and universal primary education in 2003.

Meanwhile, back home an estimated 3,3 million adults are illiterate. Illiteracy prevents many locals from achieving their full potential.

For more information on accessing the Adult Basic Education and Training (Abet) programme, please visit http://www.abet.co.za

Pictures courtesy of  BBC

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