90-year-old woman is world’s oldest primary school pupil

Priscilla Sitienei is a 90-year-old great-grand-mother who is now the world’s oldest primary school pupils as she seeks to encourage young people to pursue formal education. She also wants to read the Bible.


At 90 years of age, Priscilla Sitienei, a Kenyan great-great-grandmother is believed to be the world’s oldest primary school pupil.

Sitienei is presently a student of Leaders Vision Preparatory School which she joined five years ago.

Fondly called “Gogo”, which is translated “grandmother” in the local Kalenjin language, she attends classes with six of her great-great-grandchildren.

As a midwife who has practiced midwifery at her village of Ndalat in the Rift Valley for the last 65 years, according to a BBC report, Gogo helped birth some of her present classmates.

She told BBC that the need to encourage children to embrace education as well as learn how to read the Bible were her reasons for going to school.

“I’d like to be able to read the Bible; I also want to inspire children to get an education,” she said.

“Too many older children are not in school. They even have children themselves.”

She says she encourages out-of-school children to return to school, using herself as an example to prove that age is never a problem.

“They tell me they are too old. I tell them, ‘Well I am at school and so should you.’

“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.”

The school’s Headmaster, David Kinyanjui, said he is “proud” of Gogo, adding that she motivates her classmates.

“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.”

Gogo takes part in all of the classes and lives at the school boarding house.

She may be getting a certificate as the oldest primary school pupil in the Guinness Book of Records after the current holder, another Kenyan, Kimani Maruge, passed away at the age of 89 in 2009.