News & Information From Northeast India

50-year-old ‘grandmother’ from Meghalaya clears Class XII exams in single attempt

Age hardly matters when it comes to achieving something. Meet Lakyntiew Syiemlieh, a 50-year-old woman from Meghalaya, who has passed Class XII board examination conducted by the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBoSE) in flying colours in her first attempt. The results were announced on July 13.

Lakyntiew, the oldest student of Balawan College in Ri Bhoi district, who always yearned to study and to gain knowledge, dropped out of Class IX in 1989 from Laitumkhrah Presbyterian Higher Secondary School because she was scared of Mathematics, Highland Post reported.

Years passed until she shifted to Umsning Lum-Umpih with her uncle and married in 1991. Like other mothers she was busy raising her four children, until in 2008 she was asked by the village to teach in the SSA school with a salary of Rs 500 a month.

“I enjoyed teaching children and was leading that life happy with that sum,” Lakyntiew was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

A happy soul, Lakyntiew, was always motivated by her colleagues to continue studies. And that appears to be the turning point of her life.

And finally she decided to go back to school, this time as a student in 2015. She joined the evening school of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) after a gap of around 26 years.

Leaving mathematics aside, she cleared the Class X exams with economics, business, home science, English and painting with two attempts in 2017.

And the will continued for further studies as Lakyntiew approached the principal of Balawan College to his shock. “The principal thought I had gone there to admit my children,” she recalled.

Lakyntiew Syiemlieh (3rd from left) with her classmates | Photo courtesy: Highland Post

Lakyntiew attended the school as a non-regular student in 2018. However, she decided to don the uniform of a student when she cleared her Class XI examination and take her big step as a higher secondary student and sit for the board exams from St. Michael Higher Secondary School.

“I was called mommy by my classmates. I was never taunted and we usually have good times together. We go out and hang around and I take part in college weeks,” she said, adding, “I like jamming sessions! And enjoy my life with them as a senior most student.”

Talking about her plans, Lakyntiew said she would pursue her Bachelors and take up Khasi as a major subject at the same college, which is close to her school and her home.

“I like poetry and would like to learn more about the Khasi language and keep it alive,” she said.

Not forgetting to thank her principal, Fr Lawrence Kharluni and assistant parish priest Fr Tobias Kharngapkynta, who believed and shaped her life, Lakyntiew said, “Age has no barrier and it is people like them who have given me the biggest opportunity in life without any reluctance that I was able to achieve one milestone at this age.”


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