"I believe it is our responsibility to seek knowledge"
A 65-year-old Pakistani man has enrolled in the first grade at Government Primary School Khongsai.
Dilawar Khan is a resident of Dir Upper in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Born into a poor household, Dilawar faced the reality of prioritising familial responsibilities over education.
But he has now chosen to break barriers and step into a classroom at an age when many think about retirement.
According to Dilawar, he believes that the pursuit of knowledge is a responsibility that transcends age.
The primary school welcomed Dilawar, celebrating his decision to pursue education at the age of 65.
The school administration expressed support for his journey, emphasising the importance of lifelong learning and the positive impact it can have on individuals and communities.
Dilawar’s presence in the classroom initially raised eyebrows among the children as many of his classmates are younger than his grandchildren.
But as time passed, a heartwarming transformation unfolded.
One resident told The Express Tribune:
“Dilawar Khan, hailing from a financially struggling family in Dir Upper district, had to forego the luxury of a formal education in his youth to support his family.
“Yet, his passion for learning endured.”
Speaking about his decision to start school, the Pakistani man said:
“As a devout Muslim, I believe it is our responsibility to seek knowledge, and I firmly believe that age is merely a number, not a formidable barrier in this pursuit.”
Dilawar attends school every morning and learns how to read and write alongside his younger classmates.
Dilawar’s inspiring story has gone viral and social media users have praised him for his determination to pursue education.
One person wrote:
“More power to you Dilawar Khan, age is just a number, be proud of yourself my brother.”
Another said: “Massive respect for this man!!!”
A third commented: “Big up to you.”
Cases of elderly people in India and Pakistan pursuing education are not uncommon.
In India’s Uttar Pradesh, a 92-year-old woman learned how to read and write after going to school for the first time.
Salima Khan, who got married at 14, had a lifelong dream of being able to read and write.
There were no schools in her village and she soon became a mother, meaning she had other priorities.
She said: “Every day, I would wake up to the joyful screams of students entering the government primary school in front of my house in Chawli village, Bulandshahr, yet I never stepped inside though I kept burning with the desire to study all along.”
In January 2023, she began attending a primary school, studying alongside children eight decades younger than her.