A 63-year-old grandmother, Chou Lee Ying-chiao (周李鶯嬌), did not become the oldest winner of the annual Presidential Education Awards (總統教育獎) yesterday, the Chinese-language media reported.
A total of 68 students chosen from this year's 311 contestants were named winners of the 3rd Presidential Education Awards yesterday.
Chou Lee was expected to be named a winner because of her diligent studying over the past six years. She made it to the finalist list, but eventually failed to win the award, according to the award organizers.
The educational event was held under the auspices of the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Education.
Fifty elementary and junior-high school students and 18 senior-high school students from across the nation were named winners of the awards yesterday.
The 68 winners will receive their awards from President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Aug. 24.
Due to her family's financial difficulties, Chou Lee started to work after she graduated from elementary school at the age of 13.
However, driven by her dream of one day becoming a college student, she decided to pick up her textbooks again about six years ago -- at the age of 57.
She finished junior-high school a few years ago. She graduated from the National Keelung Commercial and Industrial Vocational Senior High School this summer.
She is now planning to register for studies at the National Taipei College of Business.
Chou Lee said yesterday that she might study information management, because she thought that sending e-mails is really fun.
Although Chou-Lee has polio and kidney problems and needs to have dialysis three times a week, she said yesterday that she will never quit learning.
"I will continue to study as long as I live," she said.