Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Education: World's oldest schoolboy to speak at UN Millennium Summit

Two years ago 85-year-old Kimani Nganga Maruge made history - and the Guinness Book Of Records - for becoming the world's oldest schoolboy.

Kimani started school when free elementary education had been introduced in Kenya. I remember news footage showing him sitting in the classroom attired in school uniform (photo, but text in Vietnamese)

Currently in second grade, he has taken his first flight, visiting the US to speak at the UN Millennium Summit in New York and to tell its participants about the importance of free elementary education.

He also plans to meet Bill Clinton to ask him to build a free hospital for AIDS patients in Kenya.

Call me cynical, but it must have taken an awful lot of guts for him to do what he did. I just hope that others will not take advantage of his achievement and use him as a tool to push their own agendas.

Oh yes, Kimani told reporters he has another wish.

"I would also like to marry a rich American woman to bring back money for my children. There's no point marrying a poor woman because I'm also poor."

Perhaps he still has a lot to learn.