Monday, July 7, 2008

Elementary School In The Age Of 73

There is no to late to study. This expression depict what Saeng Sa-ngawong do. In her old age, she pursue her dream to be able to read and write.

This 73 years old grandmother go to Wat Dong Pa Miang school, Chiang Rai, Muang district, Thailand.

Actually, when she eight years old, Saeng went to school. But only for a month because her parents did not have money to buy school uniform.

So, Saeng not embarrassed to gather with her little friends. In the class, she do like other student do. For example, write in Thai letter and pronounced it correctly.

Moreover, last June 19, Saeng that sat in 2nd grade also join a special ritual to honor the teachers. In fact, most of the teachers were far more younger than her.

During this procession, a 6th grade student gave her a bunch of flower and candle. When she registered last November, the teacher and student welcomed her enthusiastically.

The difference with Saeng and other student was only the uniforms that worn and the seat that was far more bigger than the other student. His classmates greeted Saeng with the grandmother term.

"Grandmother always give us dessert," said Natapong Manowan, 8 years old, one of Saeng classmates.

Natapong sometimes become a private teacher for Saeng. Saeng indeed only learn Thai language. When other student studied other subject, she studied to read and write.

"But, grandmother also do a school activity, including cleaning the class," said Wiparat Chumanong, the teacher in the class.

According to Chumanong, Saeng become a role model and give positive influence for other student. Because, she showed a hard and polite worker character.

Saeng realize that she attract attention because not like any other student who use bag to go to school, she use a basket. Inside of it she put her textbook, lunch, medicine for her high blood pressure and balsam.

"I don't care about what people say. I only wanted to learn to read and write Thai. I wanted to understand the Pali language," said Saeng. Pali was an Indian language that was use in Buddhist book and prayers.

The other reason, Saeng did not want to be lonely. Since her husband died, Saeng was alone in the house because her children have married and stayed with their respective family.

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