90-year-old Priscilla Sitienei is the oldest primary student in the world

Oldest primary student


Check out the following post from Mighty Girl.  To have such a strong, unquenchable thirst for learning is powerful & inspiring.  Check out Priscilla Sitienei, who goes to primary school with her great-great-grandchildren.

At Leaders Vision Preparatory School in Ndalat, Kenya, one student stands out from the rest — 90-year-old Priscilla Sitienei! The nonagenarian, who attends school alongside six of her great-great-grandchildren, is believed to be the oldest primary school student in the world. Although she never had an opportunity to learn to read and write as a child, Sitienei now hopes that her example will inspire the children of her community to understand just how valuable education is.

Affectionately known as Gogo, which means “grandmother” in the local Kalenjin language, Sitienei has been a midwife for 65 years and she even delivered several of her 10 to 14-year-old classmates. When she first applied to the school, they refused her admission until they realized how committed she was to getting an education. Five years after she began studying, Headmaster David Kinyanjui says “I’m very proud of her. Gogo has been a blessing to this school, she has been a motivator to all the pupils. She is loved by every pupil, they all want to learn and play with her.”

Now a class prefect, Sitienei participates in all of the classes, including math, English, PE, dance, drama, and singing. And, she also teaches her fellow students about local customs and traditions. Expectant mothers still seek her out and she assists with deliveries when needed. Part of her motivation for reading and writing is to pass on her midwife expertise and her knowledge of herbal medicine to further generations.

Sitienei told BBC News that she will confront children she sees who have left school and ask why. “Too many older children are not in school… I see children who are lost, children who are without fathers, just going round and round, hopeless. I want to inspire them to go to school.” she explained. “They tell me they are too old. I tell them, ‘Well I am at school and so should you.’” She hopes that her example will also inspire children around the world: “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. With education you can be whatever you want.”

To read more or watch a video about Priscilla Sitienei’s inspiring story on the BBC, visit http://bbc.in/1yLGIkD

For a classic Mighty Girl book about a grandmother proving it’s never to late to learn, check out “The Wednesday Surprise” for ages 4 to 8 athttp://www.amightygirl.com/the-wednesday-surprise

For more stories about girls and women fighting for their right to an education, visit our “Educational Access” book section athttp://www.amightygirl.com/…/social-issu…/educational-access

To help children and teens better understand the challenges many children around the world face in order to go to school, we’ve also put together a post featuring our favorite books for young readers on children’s educational access issues: “Honoring Malala: Mighty Girl Books on Children’s Fight for Education” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=4057



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