We do not always come across nonagenarians who are fresh University graduates. Kimlan Jinakul at the age of 91 was blessed to see her dream of becoming a University degree holder come true.
Though it came at a much later age, Kimlan is fulfilled that it came to pass in her lifetime. In her words “it is never too late” to study.
“It’s never too late. My mind is always awake and sharp for learning,”
Usually the people whom insist on furthering their education in their advanced ages have a common story of lack and deprived opportunity. Regardless, the zeal to still enroll did not burn out.
Such was the story of Kimlan Jinakul. She was born a native of Lamoang, northern Thailand.
Now a mother of 5 and a grandmother, Kim in her younger days was a bright student. Incidentally her academic pursuit was halted when her family relocated to Bangkok. In time she was married. This centred all of her focus on her family.
Given that the woman has always been a lover of education, the trait followed suit in all of her children. 4 of the children are master degree holders while 1 furthered to the PhD level.
“I have always, though, wanted my children to be able to study. So I encouraged and supported them when they wanted to to go to university.”
The academic achievements of her children became a rekindled motivation to still enroll for a University degree. With the help of one of her daughters, Kim started an undergraduate study at the age of 72. Together they studied at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University.
Sadly the daughter who was helping her out with her studies died and she had to abandon her studies.
“After recovering from the loss and sadness, I pushed myself to finish this programme. I’m hoping my daughter’s soul would be pleased to see this,”
More than 10 year went by before she decided once again to finish what she had started.
At 85 she enrolled for a degree in Human Ecology. Her major was Human and family development. Kim loved the course because it would equip her with all that is necessary to live a life worth the while- a good and happy life.
Kimlan Jinakul admits that with her age, there were ups and downs while doing the programme but she continued pushing till her goal was achieved.
“When I told myself to finish one chapter, I would try my best to do so. I underlined all the key points I needed to memorise. And that’s what helped me during my study reviews.
“I was glad when I passed and sad when I failed. So I re-took the exam until I passed,”
On Wednesday Kimlan Jinakul officially became a university degree holder like she had always dreamt of.
“This world never stops. There are always new problems for us to solve. If there were no new sciences, the world would stop prospering,”
Kim is a spiritual person who believes in alms giving.