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article imageWorld's oldest primary school pupil has died

By Andrew Moran     Aug 17, 2009 in World
Believed to be the world's oldest student, according to Guinness Book of World Records, 89-year-old Kenyan Joseph Stephen Kimani Nganga Maruge died on Friday after battling with stomach cancer.
"In the morning he used to wake up early to read the Bible before going to school. Even when he fell ill and you found him basking in the sun, often he would be reading the Bible," said 18-year-old Anne Maruge, the granddaughter of the 89-year-old student.
Maruge entered primary school for one specific goal: learn to read so he can read the bible.
He was shy of attending primary school but, nevertheless, he wore the entire school boy uniform: shorts, sweater and long socks - and, in typical African fashion, walked to class hunched over, a book bag slung over his shoulder.
After starting to attend school, Maruge was filled with tragedy. After the bloody post-election of 2008 in Kenya, his home burned down in Rift Valley and was relocated to a displacement camp in the region. He still continued his studies despite the tragedies occurring.
The Red Cross had moved Maruge to a retirement home and ended his tenure as a student due to his illness, according to the Associated Press.
Maruge went to New York in 2005 to promote a global campaign that would encourage more children to attend primary school. "Liberty means going to school and learning. You are never too old to learn."
His granddaughter further explained, "When he became ill, he started to cry because he was not going to go to school."
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