A Saudi lady has exemplified the saying “better late than never” by returning to school at the remarkable age of 110.
Nawda Al-Qahtani decided to resume her studies with the assistance of the Al-Rahwa Center in the Umwah governorate, situated in the southwest of the Kingdom.
A mother of four, with her oldest child being 80 and the youngest in his 50s, Al-Qahtani shared with Arab News that learning to read and write has brought a significant transformation to her life.
She joined an illiteracy eradication program at the center a few weeks ago and has been diligently attending school every day, along with over 50 others.
The classes at the center cater to students of all ages, teaching them the fundamentals of the alphabet and some verses from the Qur’an.
Al-Qahtani expressed her enthusiasm for the lessons and diligently completes her homework daily.
In recognition of her efforts, the Ministry of Education’s branch in Bisha featured a post about Al-Qahtani on X, where the 110-year-old conveyed her gratitude towards the Kingdom’s leaders for their commitment to eradicating illiteracy.
Reflecting on her decision to return to studies, she admitted that it was a challenging matter, especially at her age. Nevertheless, she believed it was long overdue and regrets not having completed her education many years ago.
Al-Qahtani acknowledged that the delay was not due to any personal circumstances but was a common issue faced by many girls from rural areas and villages in the region who were unable to complete their education due to geographical isolation.
Her four children are supportive of her educational pursuit and are optimistic about this new chapter in her life. They share the belief that the delay was part of Allah’s plan.
Al-Qahtani’s 60-year-old son, Mohammed, accompanies her to the center every morning and eagerly awaits her at the end of each class. He takes great pride and happiness in witnessing his mother learn something new every day.
While the governorate has only one high school for girls, leading to significant pressure, Mohammed hopes that authorities will establish more schools to enhance public education and allow others to gain literacy and complete their studies.
The leaders of the country are committed to combating and eliminating illiteracy in all regions of the Kingdom, and Mohammed is hopeful that through collective efforts, their governorate will be free from illiteracy, providing a distinguished formal education to benefit the future job prospects of their sons and daughters.
Source: Arab News