92-year-old elementary school pupil inspires a generation in Kenya

Priscilla Sitienei is shown in her school uniform. If confirmed by the Guinness World Records, she would be the oldest pupil in elementary school.

Story highlights

  • Priscilla Sitienei says she went back to school to inspire her grandchildren
  • "She advises our girls, she advises our boys," her principal says

(CNN)She grew up in Kenya under colonial rule, when women didn't get an education.

Now in her 90s, Priscilla Sitienei is changing that, attending elementary school -- and inspiring a generation.
She started five years ago as a kindergartner at a boarding school near Eldoret. She's in fourth grade today.
    "I had grandchildren and great-grandchildren who shunned school," she says by phone from Ndalat. "That made me mad. I decided I have to show them that education is important."

    Oldest student?

    During colonial times, some Kenyan hospitals did not keep birth records. Sitienei's exact age is unclear, but she says she was born around 1923, when a famine plagued her hometown. Growing up, relatives told her she barely survived that famine as a toddler, which gave her a rough estimate of her birth year.
    Priscilla Sitienei has her own special dorm room at  the boarding school in Eldoret. Outside her door is a sign that says "education has no age limit."