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The 35th attempt: a 68-year-old is still in school

Shjoram Jadav in India started taking his school finals in 1969 and is continuing his attempt up to the moment.

This year the 68-year-old pupil from the village of Tusing, Rajastan, will make his 35th attempt to pass all exams and get his high-school diploma at last. One day, Jadav made a promise that he would not get married until he passed his finals.

“Education is everything in one’s life, - he said in his interview to BBC. – Education rules the world. Education is important for one’s brothers, for one's community, for the Government and abroad”.

Up to now, Jadav used to fail in one subject or other. It always so happens, he says, that after failing one subject he tried to learn it by next year, but neglected another one.

Dressed in traditional Indian clothes, he walks 3 kilometers from his village to school. Its head of the teaching department Devy Singh says that when he first saw Shjoram which happened in 1999 he thought that the latter was one of the childrens' guards.

“Shjoram quickly walked to the exam classroom where several children had already been walking – he recollects. – I stopped him and said that only pupils were allowed to come in, not parents. He answered that he was a pupil. I did not believe him and asked him to show me his documents. When he showed them to me all the school staff gathered around him and a violent discussion began.

Since that day, Jadav started taking his exams in that school.

All the staff of Education department of his district knows him and people in his village hope that this year he will succeed.

“He wished to pass his 10th form exams himself and only then get married, but there has not yet been God’s will for that, - Hanuman Goyal from Tusing says. – He has tried already 33 or 34 times. We will see whether his dream will come true this time”.

Years pass by and Jadav's health has become worse. But he is a hard-working man. Leharay, Jadav's former schoolmate, says this quality is invaluable.

“He wants to pass the exams all by himself. He never accepts any help from anyone and has never plagiarized, - Leharay says. We respect him for this”.


Translated by: Irina Alexeyeva