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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Kenya's record-breaking OAP pupil
Kimani Nganga Maruge and classmates
The 84-year old dresses much like any other school boy
Kenya's Kimani Nganga Maruge hit the headlines around the world earlier this year for being the oldest man in Kenya to start school - aged 84.

The great-grandfather has now won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest person in the world to start primary school.

He started Kapkenduiywa school in the western town of Eldoret on 12 January.

Kenya's government introduced free primary schooling in 2003, making it possible for Mr Maruge to attend.

Two of his 30 grandchildren attend the same school but they are in more senior grades.

Mr Maruge says he never had the opportunity to go to school when he was younger.

'Flying colours'

He said one of his main aims for starting school was to learn to count the money he expects to receive in compensation from the authorities for fighting against the British.

He says he also hopes to learn to read the Bible - because he does not trust the version he hears each week in church.

According to the charity HelpAge International, the Mau Mau veteran is one of the top five pupils in his class and has been made a prefect.

"He has gone on to pass his first exams in English, Maths and Swahili and an oral exam in reading with flying colours," a spokeswoman for the charity's Africa Regional Development Centre told BBC News Online.

The school's head teacher has praised him for the advice he gives to teachers and other pupils.

Kenya's oldest schoolboy
14 Jan 04 |  Africa
Call for free African schools
09 Jul 03 |  Africa
Kenya lifts ban on Mau Mau
31 Aug 03 |  Africa

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