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Kenya’s World Oldest Pupil Dies at 99

Kenya’s World Oldest Pupil Dies at 99

The world’s oldest primary school student, Priscilla Sitieni, has died in Kenya at the age of 99.

Her determination to obtain an education in her 90s inspired a French film and garnered acclaim from UNESCO.

According to her grandson Sammy Chepsiror, Gogo Priscilla, as she was affectionately called, passed away home on Wednesday after experiencing a chest problem.

“Gogo has been in good health and attending her classes until three days to her demise when she developed chest pains, which forced her out of school,” he told the newspaper on Thursday.

“We are thankful for the 100 years of her life. She made all of us proud,” he added.

According to UNESCO, she was 94 years old when she convinced the headmaster of the local school in her village in Kenya’s Rift Valley to admit her. UNESCO recognized her as a “role model for her community and beyond.”

In an interview with the UN agency the previous year, she stated that her goal was to encourage young Kenyan moms to return to school after having children rather than dropping out of shame or fear of social stigma.

“I wanted to show an example not only to them but to other girls around the world who are not in school,” she said.

“Without education, there will be no difference between you and a chicken,” she said.

“Education is your future. Education remains in your head forever and you cannot lose it once you have it.”

Her efforts were portrayed in the French film “Gogo,” which prompted her to fly for the first time to France and meet first lady Brigitte Macron last year.

Thursday, the co-writer of the film, Patrick Pessis, tweeted, “Her message about girls’ education lives on.”

Kenya’s World Oldest Pupil Dies at 99


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