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World’s oldest primary school student dies aged 99

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Priscilla Sitieni, the world’s oldest primary school student, has died in Kenya aged 99.

Priscilla, who inspired a French film and received UNESCO recognition, died at home on Wednesday, November 16, after developing a chest complication, her grandson Sammy Chepsiror told The Standard newspaper.

“Gogo was in good health and attended school until three days before her death, when she developed chest pains, which forced her to drop out of school,” he said. in the newspaper on Thursday, November 17.

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

She was 94 when she persuaded the headmaster of the local school in her village in Kenya’s Rift Valley to admit her, according to UNESCO, which hailed her as “a role model for her community and at the -of the”.

In an interview with the UN agency last year, she said her aim was to motivate young Kenyan mothers to return to school after having children, instead of giving up out of shame or fear. social stigma.

“I wanted to set an example not just for them, but for other girls around the world who are out of school,” she said.

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

“Education is your future. Education stays in your head forever and you can’t lose it once you have it.”

Her efforts were documented in a French film called “Gogo”, which led her to take a plane for the first time last year to visit France and meet first lady Brigitte Macron.

The film’s co-screenwriter, Patrick Pessis, paid tribute to her on Thursday, tweeting: “Her message on girls’ education lives on.”

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