Every day millions of teenagers visit schools and get new knowledge in order to enter universities and colleges, and then get a good job. Everything fares according to the ordinary and proven social scheme. But for some people literacy is still a luxury which cannot become possible even up to 100 years old. Where the aged students come from, by what they inspire each other and make the society rise in applause – in our new Popsop research.
It’s hard to say exactly when not only girls and boys but also grandmothers and grandfathers began to appear at school desks. However, it is fair to assume that this period began after the end of lean years, world wars and repressions forcing people to forget about the education and think only about how to feed the family and help the parents not to slide back under the poverty line.
With onset of fairly quiet time grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even grandgrand-grandchildren began to set off their grandparents to schools. And not because they are not satisfied by their education level, but because today’s olds dreamed of this all their lives.
For the last ten years there have been a great number of such cases. For instance, in 2010, after local school authorities found out from the great-grandchildren that their granny, 102-year-old Chinese woman Ма Xiuxian had been dreaming of becoming educated since her childhood, invited her to the first form.
She simply had no time to study earlier. Ма Xiuxian started to work on the cotton factory at the age of 13, married when she was only 18 and then gave birth to nine children.
Therefore, at the moment of enrolment not nearly young first-grader had all the things needed complete with a great desire to study.
In 2012 Joao Vieira who finished school in Salvaterra de Magos and gained a diploma of secondary education at the age of 91 was called the oldest student in Portugal.
By the way, there is a special program for elder people who want to increase their educational level – Novas Oportunidades. The grandson offered Joao to use it and later accompanied his grandpa on the first school lessons.
In 2015 Fred Butler from Beverly, Massachusetts finally got a diploma of secondary education at the age of 105. Celebration ceremony was organized for its delivery which was visited by the mayor of Beverly.
Fred Butler’s daughter-in-law Katie told social media that he always was sad because he left school because of the work which helped to feed the family. And then World War II begun and young Fred was drafted into the military, but dreams about going to school have never left him.
So, a student who is younger than his predecessors appeared in 2016. Durga Kami from Nepal is 68 years old and his usual practice is to wake up, have breakfast, prepare his bag, shuffle on the school uniform and go towards knowledge.
It is unknown whether his six children or eight grandchildren triggered the man for this decision. However, a lifetime dream definitely inspired him. Durga wanted to become a teacher from his childhood but his family was too poor to give him even school education. Many years later Durga decided to get the education.
Now he is in the tenth form among the 15-year-old teenagers. The oldest student of Nepal is “untouchable”. People of low-caste groups are called so. But everybody in school likes grandpa and call him “baa” which means “father”. Kami says that he will be studying till the end of his days. He thinks that the age shouldn’t be a barrier on the way to the dream. Here is his saying: “If they see an old person with a white beard studying in school, they might get motivated as well”.