An 80-year-old woman has enrolled in Primary One at Jesus is King Nursery and Primary School in Bugandalo Village, Ibulanku Sub-county in Bugweri District, Uganda, with an aim of becoming a teacher.
Ms Maria Obonyo, a farmer, said after enduring a lot of ‘suffering and ridicule’, she decided to go to school to learn how to speak and write in English.
“I decided to enrol at the school because I lost all my relatives and there was nobody to take care of me. I am determined to study until I graduate from Makerere University as a teacher,” she told Daily Monitor.
Should Ms Obonyo complete her school cycle, she will be 96 by then.
Ms Obonyo, however, says she currently faces a myriad of challenges, notably being unable to meet her school fees amounting to Shs35,000 per term.
“I also need a better structure to sleep in because I am currently staying with the village LC1 chairman, Mr Twaha Magero,” she says.
According to Mr Magero, Ms Obonyo’s decision to enrol for Primary One at such an age is an eye-opener to her agemates and those who had dropped out of school to resume.
The director of the school, Ms Stella Tayona, says Ms Obonyo enrolled at her school in Baby Class in 2015 and graduated from Top Class last year.
“She is a hardworking pupil who never misses classes and is social to fellow classmates,” Ms Tayona says, adding that the school currently foots most of her basic scholastic requirements although she is seeking help from well-wishers.
The school’s head teacher, Ms Olivia Kwagala, says Ms Obonyo has made the school proud by studying at such an age and is confident she will complete Primary Seven.
“She is also so eager to learn how to append her signature on a document,” Ms Kwagala adds.