Lakyntiew Syiemlieh, a 50-year-old Meghalaya woman, a single mother and grandmother, cleared her Class XII exams, 32 years after she dropped out of school. Meghalaya Board of School Education’s Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSLLC), Arts stream examination declared results on Monday. A total of 24,267 students appeared for the exam and the overall pass percentage was 74.34.

Syiemlieh had dropped out of Class X in 1988 from the Laitumkhrah Presbyterian School in Shillong because of her weakness in mathematics. She also had to support her family as a single mother by teaching children Khasi at the Persara Upper Primary School, a local school in her village. To appear for Class XII, Syiemlieh sought permission from the school authorities for a special gap year. She utilised it to resume learning at the Balawan College in Umsning. She picked Khasi, Political Science, Economics, Education and English as her subjects.

“I got a third division but, I am very happy. My children are so thrilled that they started shouting, hugging and kissing me when the board declared the results yesterday. In fact, it was the happiest day of my life,” she told the Indian Express.

What You Should Know

  • Lakyntiew Syiemlieh, a 50-year-old Meghalaya grandmother cleared her Class XII exams, 32 years after she dropped out of school. Her subjects were Khasi, Political Science, Economics, Education and English.
  • Meghalaya Board of School Education’s Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSLLC), Arts stream examination declared results on Monday.
  • Syiemlieh had dropped out of Class X in 1988 from the Laitumkhrah Presbyterian School in Shillong because of her weakness in mathematics.
  • As a single mother, she supported her family by teaching children Khasi at the Persara Upper Primary School.

Resilient Demeanour  

Syiemlieh was married at 21 and also had four children but, unfortunately, her marriage didn’t work. As a single mother, she taught Khasi at Persara Upper Primary School to support her family. Teaching pre-schoolers in 2008 was the beginning of her love for re-learning.

In 2015, she enrolled herself for evening classes at the National Institute of Open Schooling at Umsning. She juggled both classes and her studies simultaneously. Finally, two years later, she managed to pass Class X.

Lakyntiew signed up for a distance education course offered by IGNOU. “I was happy because mathematics was not included in the IGNOU course,” she said. For Class XII, she routinely attended classes at the Balawan College in Umsning. She even adorned the school uniform.

Lakyntiew is a member of a Self Help Group (SHG) in her village. She was also the Master Book Keeper (MBK) of the Village Organisation. The grandmother enjoys writing Khasi poetry.

“I wish to go as far as possible, to show my two granddaughters, single mothers and many despairing women that there is more to life than issues at the domestic and social levels,” she told The Hindu.  

Meghalaya Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui congratulated Lakyntiew for her feat. “Age is not an issue when one is in search of education. Lakyntiew Syiemlieh is an inspiration for everybody and especially those who give up studies midway. I congratulate her and appreciate her hardwork and dedication,” Rymbui said.

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Ria Chakraborty is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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