PENANG, 23 Sept. 2012 - The demands of the task as educators could not prevent a husband and wife couple, both aged 58, to achieve the dream together in pursuing a degree.
The couple – Musa bin Jaafar and Nor Azizan Sulaiman – received Bachelor of Arts scrolls, majoring in History, from the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman during the last session of the 46th Convocation Ceremony, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
The couple with Musa serving as a senior assistant and his wife as a headmistress at a school in Muar, Johor, put every opportunity to good use and there were times when they were forced to do their revision in the car.
He said that the success of their children and relatives served as a strong impetus for them to succeed, moreover at a well established university like USM.
He said that the distance to commute between Muar and Penang was not a deterrent in their quest to succeed but instead strengthens the resolution to finish on time.
“The long journey also gave us an opportunity to exchange views on our lessons and when I was driving, she would read the notes and help with the revision.
“It was very helpful in our learning activities besides having to do our revision through the Internet and modules,'' he said during a press conference, attended by over 20 members of their families here today.
Meanwhile, Omar said that USM has always strived to improve the education system offered, including sustaining lifelong learning through special channels allowing seniors to be enrolled as full-time students or for distance education.
At the same press conference, Derisah Maarof, 66, and her son, Mohd. Idzwan Razali, 34, also shared moments of joy after their graduation, majoring in Management and Social Sciences respectively.
Derisah said that she, being close to 70, was determined to continue her ambition to shine academically, undeterred by her busy working life and having to bring up a family.
“Initially I was a little scared and nervous, let alone seeing those voluminous books and having to start something new in life.
“But with the grace and strong support of our children who had achieved academically earlier, I ultimately succeeded,'' said the single mother who was widowed two years ago.
When asked about the secret of her success, Derisah who got married soon after sitting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), said that she was never shy to ask for assistance and seek additional reference during her study.
“I frequented the library or spend time revising with more senior students although the seniors are much younger than me, with the intention to gain knowledge and succeed,'' she said.
Translation: Yong Check Yoon