Thiruvananthapuram: The 93-year-old Fatima Beevi's last ambition in life was to clear her Grade 10 exam. She was working hard for the Grade 8 exam to be conducted in May, but fate had other plans in store. The oldest student in the state died on Friday owing to age-related problems at her home in the town of Alappuzha.
A diligent student, Beevi regularly attended all Grades run by the State Literacy Mission for elderly people. She cleared the Grade 4 exam scoring 53 per cent marks last year. Under the programme, students who pass Grade 4 exam are promoted to Grade 7.
Difficult circumstances did not permit Beevi to pursue education in her childhood. Her husband died a few years after their marriage. To bring up her three children, she ran a sweet shop.
Athulyam (unequal), the education programme launched by the Literacy Mission for elderly people, was a boon for her as Beevi had been looking for an opportunity to learn to read and write.
"Among the seven elderly people I taught in her batch, she was the only one who was able to grasp all subjects without much difficulty and understand the nuances of language. She made us proud by becoming the oldest student to clear Grade 4 exam," Sheebha Thajudheen, the Literacy Mission instructor who taught Beevi, said.