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80-year-old woman enrols in primary one, says she hopes to become a teacher

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Student's Life

80-year-old woman enrols in primary one, says she hopes to become a teacher

An 80-year-old woman enrolled in Primary One at a Nursery and Primary School in Bugandalo Village, Ibulanku Sub-county in Bugweri District of Uganda, has said she aims to become a teacher.

Ms Maria Obonyo, a farmer, said on Monday that 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 said.

Obonyo will be 96 if she eventually completes her school cycle.

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Ms Obonyo, however, said she currently faces a myriad of challenges, notably being unable to meet her school fees amounting to Shs35,000 (Ugandan shilling) 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 said.

The village LC1 chairman, Mr Twaha Magero, commended Obonyo’s decision to enrol for Primary One at such age, describing it as an eye-opener to her age mates and those who had dropped out of school to resume.

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The director of the school, Ms Stella Tayona, says 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 said, adding that the school currently foots most of her basic scholastic requirements although she is seeking help from well-wishers.

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The school’s head teacher, Ms Olivia Kwagala, also said 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,” Kwagala added.

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