World

World’s oldest student passes away at 99 in Kenya

Priscilla Sitieni, the oldest known primary school student, has passed away at the age of 99 in Kenya, according to local media.

Priscilla Sitieni, the oldest known primary school student, has passed away at the age of 99 in Kenya, according to local media. Sitieni’s determination to continue her education despite her advanced age was the subject of a French film and earned her accolades from UNESCO.

Sammy Chepsiror, her grandson, told The Standard newspaper that Gogo Priscilla, as she was affectionately called, died at home on Wednesday after getting 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,” Chepsiror told the newspaper on Thursday.

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

She was 94 when she convinced the headmaster of the local school in her village in Kenya’s Rift Valley to let her in. UNESCO called her “a role model for her community and beyond.”

In an interview with a UN agency last year, she said that her goal was to get young moms in Kenya to go back to school after having kids instead of dropping out because they were ashamed or afraid of being judged.

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

“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 shown in a French film called “Gogo,” which got her on an airplane for the first time to go to France and meet Brigitte Macron, the first lady.

Patrick Pessis, who worked with her on the movie, tweeted on Thursday, “Her message about girls’ education lives on.”