90-year-old Kenyan Student Demonstrates ‘Education Has No Limits’

A 90-year-old Kenyan woman who goes to class with six of her great-great-grandchildren is believed to be the oldest primary school student in the world.

Sitting at the front of class four in her school uniform, Priscilla Sitienei listens intently while she writes the English names of animals in her notebook.

She joined Leaders Vision Preparatory School five years ago and has also served her village of Ndalat in the Rift Valley as a midwife for the last 65 years. In fact, she has helped deliver some of her own classmates, who are aged between 10 and 14.

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

“I’d like to be able to read the Bible. I also want to inspire children to get an education. I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth,” Priscilla ‘Gogo’ Sitienei says. “Don’t look back and run to your father. With education you can be whatever you want, a doctor, lawyer or a pilot.”

At first the school turned her away but soon understood how committed she was to learning. Headmaster David Kinyanjui believes Gogo, who boards at the village school, is an example to the rest of her class.

“I’m very proud of her,” he says. “Gogo has been a blessing to this school, she has been a motivator to all the students. She is loved by every student, they all want to learn and play with her. She is doing well… considering her age I can say I have seen a big difference in this school since she came.”

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March 21, 2020

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