Never Too Late to Learn
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To inspire an appreciation of school and education.
Preparation and materials
- Find an image that epitomizes the title of this assembly (I particularly like one of a senior citizen on a fast motorbike) and have the means to display it during the assembly.
- Familiarize yourself with the story of a Kenyan pupil, Priscilla, aged 90, and have available the BBC News video about it, 'Kenyan grandmother at school with her great-great-grandchildren' (at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30935874), and the means to show it during the assembly. The video is 02.34 minutes long.
- Write out the following quote from Priscilla on a whiteboard: 'I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth. Don’t look back and run to your father! With education you can be whatever you want.'
- Ask the students to name people who inspire them and why.
Consider the qualities these people show and what has been necessary for their development. For example, a footballer will need to have the qualities of perseverance and endurance to make the most of the training and become good enough to be picked for this competitive career. An entrepreneur will need to have the qualities of creativity, problemsolving, be able to take risks. A carer will need the qualities of compassion and self-sacrifice.
- Tell the students that this senior citizen really inspires you!
Show the image chosen to exemplify that it's never too late to learn.
Explain that in every example shared there has been learning of some sort and effort and a goal.
- At the beginning of a new school year and a new stage in your education, it is important to consider these things. In our country, we are blessed with a free education, trained teachers, up-to-date resources and a childhood in which there is time to learn. This is not the case in many areas of the world. The effort we put in to learning and the goals we aim for are ours to decide on.
We are going to watch a short video in a moment about a great great grandma whom I think you will agree is an inspiration. Priscilla Sitienei, or Gogo, as she is called by her friends, lives in rural Kenya. She is 90 years old and she is in primary school.
- Show the BBC News video (at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30935874).
Ask the following questions about the video.
Why does Priscilla want to go to school?
What subjects does Priscilla study?
The headteacher says that Priscilla is an inspiration. What do you think he means by that?
Would you like to be in a class with Priscilla? Why?
Priscilla teaches us that it really is never too late to learn. It might be to start from scratch and learn something that others have learned years ago, as in Priscilla's case. It might be something that we have found difficult or even failed at before. It might be a completely new subject area. The opportunities to learn are there. All it takes is our willingness to ‘give it all we’ve got!’
Time for reflection
Consider Priscilla’s message.
Show the quote from Priscilla on the whiteboard.
In what ways do you think education will be our wealth?
Are we in danger of running to our fathers for our wealth?
Thank you for those who inspire us to be the best that we can be.
Thank you that education has no age limit.
Thank you for all the opportunities we have to learn.
Help us to make the most of these, to be focused, work hard and reach our goals.