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50-year-old Meghalaya woman clears class 12 exams, 30 years after leaving school

July 15, 2020

A 50-year-old working mother of four children and two grandchildren, Lakyntiew Syiemlieh dropped out of Laitumkhrah Presbyterian School in Shillong, Meghalaya, in 1988. She went to complete her higher education 30 years later and passed her class 12 exams on Monday, July 13, 2020.

“I understand the importance of education — without it we are simply nothing,” she told The Indian Express. She now plans to do a bachelor’s degree in her favourite language, Khasi. Syiemlieh also said, “I got a third division but I am very happy.” She also added, “My children are so thrilled that they started shouting, hugging and kissing me when the results were declared yesterday. In fact, it was the happiest day of my life.”

One of the 24,267 students who appeared for the state board’s Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate Arts stream examination earlier this year, Syiemlieh’s struggle with mathematics led her to drop out of school, after she was unable to clear her Class X exams. She said, “After that, life took a different course — I got married at 21, had four kids. Unfortunately, the marriage did not work out.”

In 2008, she was asked by residents of her village to teach pre-schoolers for a salary of Rs 500. While working, she joined the evening school at the National Institute of Open Learning in 2015 and cleared class 10 in 2017.

She later became a student at the St Michael Higher Secondary School and sat for her class 12 board exams. She also took permission from the school authorities for a special gap year which she used to attend classes at the Balawan College in Umsning. “It was crucial I attended school because that was the only way I would be able to concentrate and do well since class 12 is important,” she said. 

Source: The Indian Express

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