Learning is age agnostic and we now know the importance of constantly being on the learning curve. Bridging the gap between knowing and doing with éclat is a 50-year-old woman from Meghalaya who cleared this year’s class 12 boards.
Lakyntiew Syiemlieh, a single and working mother of four children and two grandchildren, has become the talk of her town. Awed by her tenacity and will power the residents of her town are talking a blue streak about how she beat her age with flamboyance in achieving the onerous feat.
The journey started back in 2015, when chasing her dreams for a higher education, 26 years after she dropped out of school, Syiemlieh cleared her class 10 board. She enrolled for evening classes at the National Institute of Open Schooling at Umsning for being eligible to write her class 10 exams. Five years later she again registered at the St Michael Higher Secondary School to clear her class 12.
Crossing the latest milestone has emboldened her determination further and now she has set the target of doing her graduation with honours in traditional Khasi language while juggling her family responsibilities. The term ‘college student’ typically conjures up images of harried 18-year-olds stumbling to morning classes after a night out. Upending this old chestnut, are the likes of Syiemlieh, who are born to set trends.
Intimidated by mathematical calculations and subjects on hygiene, she dropped out of class 10 in 1989. But the indomitable desire to complete her education kept prodding her to return back to books. Good news came with the introduction of NIOS in 2015, which made mathematics an optional subject. Syiemlieh grabbed the opportunity without delay and crossed the hurdle. The zealous spirit in her was restless for new exploits and soon she joined a local lower primary school as a teacher. A new story unfolded and eventually her colleagues motivated her to complete the plus-two level. Answering to the call for reaching higher terrains in life, Syiemlieh took study leave to devote more time to self study and passed the class 12 board exam at one go.
No guesses that the achievement has put her on cloud nine. With her long cherished dream coming true, Syiemlieh now resolutely advocates that knowledge is the most prized possession and dropping out doesn’t mean the end of the road.
“There were doubts in my mind about my performance in the board exams and I was keeping my fingers crossed. Being much older than others and not being able to devote time solely to studies, have left me apprehensive about the results. But now that I have passed I feel greatly satisfied and want to pursue higher studies starting with an undergrad program in Khasi language. The path to knowledge and learning is a wide open one, if so willing anyone can take as many turns as needed to achieve goals” informs a brimming Syiemlieh.
Not all superheroes wear capes, some go back to books and clear exams!