English tutor robots" will be introduced to elementary and middle schools in Seoul next year to assist in students' one-on-one English conversations, the municipal education office said on Wednesday.
Salima Khan, a 92-year-old Muslim woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr would smile at school children going past her home every morning but not without regret in her eyes – the regret of not being able to read and write. This would continue for years until one fine day eight months ago when she decided to take the plunge herself.
At 92, when most people battle age-related ailments and other diseases, Salima decided to pursue her unfulfilled dream of achieving literacy. Inspired by the “joyful screams” of children going to school in front of her house, she enrolled herself in a government primary school.
“Every day, I would wake up to the joyful screams of students entering the government primary school in front of my house in Chawli village, Bulandshahr, yet I never stepped inside though I kept burning with the desire to study all along,” Salima was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Last week, Salima took a literacy test whose results will officially declare her a literate – a dream she lived all through her life. She attended her classes with students below the age of her grand children’s children.
After eight months, she can now sign her name and count currency notes, something she could not do before. She is happy that she will not be tricked by her grand children into giving them extra money anymore since she can now count.
“I can sign my name. That’s important. Earlier, my grandkids used to trick me into giving them extra money as I couldn’t count currency notes. Those days are gone,” she told the English daily.
The headmistress of Salima’s school, Dr Pratibha Sharma said that when she first came to school and told her about her plans to study, they were a bit hesitant as teaching someone at this age could be a challenging task. However, Salima’s zeal made them changed their mind.
Salima came to us around eight months ago and requested that she be allowed to sit in the classroom. It’s a difficult task to educate such an elderly person, so we were a bit hesitant initially. However, her passion to study in the autumn of her life made us change our mind. We didn’t have the heart to refuse her,” Sharma said.
Salima Khan says she is happy and more determined to continue her education. Moreover, she has also inspired several other illiterate women in the village. Taking inspiration from Salima, at least 25 more women have joined the school. Seeing the increase in numbers, the school has now started separate special sessions for them.