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Published by Afterschool.my on Jan 05, 2018, 08:24 am
Are you a cikgu in Malaysia? Do you dream of furthering you education, but can’t find the time? Do you have way too much to do: school administrative duties, teaching and papers to mark? Then there’s family, with the kids needing homework attention, and food on the table and perhaps some stolen moments just for yourself? Where would you find the time to study?
What if we told you that you can still further your education without having to give up your job or spending time with your kids, and graduate within the time allocated?
These five teachers from all over the country are proof of just that. They marched on and grabbed their chance by the neck, fulfilling the requirements at Open University Malaysia (OUM) and obtaining their Bachelor’s degrees, all the while handling their roles at school. Here are their stories, the reasons they chose to go down this path, and how they came out on the other side.
Name: Julie Soo Set Yee
School: SJK(C) ST Joseph, Papar
One of the prime reasons Cikgu Julie decided to answer the call to obtain a degree, was she had dreams she had yet to fulfil. Julie Soo, a 32-year-old teacher from SJK(C) ST Joseph says, “I have always wanted to study and graduate from university”.
She had previously obtained a Diploma in Teaching from Institut Perguruan Gaya in 2010. “I felt like I was given a second chance to fulfil my dream, which I had to previously sweep aside put aside due to the fact I got a job right after finishing SPM”. She also yearned to acquire more knowledge, both for herself and for the good of her students.
Name: Chang Pui Kee
School: Teacher for 12 years
For Cikgu Chang, her reasons behind taking the leap were a little more personal. “The loss of my husband 4 years ago was the hardest time of my life. To stave off the negativity that surrounded me, I decided I needed to make a change, both for myself and for my child’s sake”.
She channelled that energy into looking for a way to improve her education, eventually ending up enrolling in a course to earn her Bachelor’s degree.
Name: Wong Suh Ching
School: SJK (C) Yuk Chin, Tawau
“Time was the biggest hurdle”, says Naomi Wong Suh Chin. The 39-year-old teacher who moved up the ranks the hard way, had a Diploma in Education but wanted more. “Assignments and exams throughout the course on top of projects at work left no time for holidays, or rest for that matter”.
Cikgu Naomi also had to shake off the rust of the mind that comes with age in her pursuit of a degree. “Because of this, multiple run-throughs were necessary to strengthen the memory and ensure what I studied could be retained”.
Name: Nurul Aznah Selamat
School: Sek Agama Menengah Bestari USJ 5, Subang Jaya
Cikgu Nurul Aznah lamented over the sacrifices that were necessary to further her education while still teaching, including time, energy and even money. However, she was sure those sacrifices were well worth it. “It helped me gain an education, which is priceless, alongside helping with a promotion”, she says.
Name: Zuriati Mat Min
School: Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Setongkol, Kuantan.
“I had always wanted to further my education, but family obligations and time constraints never allowed me to. But when I heard about this opportunity to further my education, I decided to grab it”.
Cikgu Zuriati says weekend classes were a huge plus, allowing her to continue to work and spend time with her family on the weekdays. She also implores any cikgus out there to grab the chance if it were to ever present itself. “Ensure your search for knowledge is lifelong”, she says, highlighting the fact despite the difficulties one will face, the reward is more than worth the effort.
Of course, thinking about enrolling and this course and actually doing it are two entirely, wholly, different prospects. If you’re worried about how you will cope, think of how these 5 cikgus made the leap and achieved great success. Furthering their education also ensured they moved up the hierarchy to Gred DG41, and all the perks that come with it. While it may not be easy, nothing worth achieving in life ever is, and if there’s one aspect all these 5 cikgus agree on, it’s that they have no regrets. Also, think of what an inspiration you will be to your students.