I AM a technical student who has worked my way up from Pre-National Diploma to Degree level. I am not one of those students who was fortunate enough to get good results in ‘O’ level. Every year since 1999 (after my ‘O’ level), I’ve been trying to resit my ‘O’ level papers because at that time, the technical school never came to my mind until one day a close friend of mine suggested me to try entering the technical school.
I was truly blessed to be given a chance to study again. I’ve always done well in my technical education achieving distinctions and merit and receiving awards in mathematics, which I never thought in a million years I would.
From PND to ND and then to ITB to do my HND, I’ve always done well. After my HND, I was offered twinning degree in civil engineering (2011/2012). I signed an agreement to do for two years in ITB and the final year in Belfast.
During my second year, my father passed away due to cancer. As I had to take full care of him, I had to repeat my second year. I made a comeback with high marks in the resit paper. I was supposed to leave for Belfast in September 2014 with four of my other friends who also resit their papers as well. But unfortunately, I am stuck here.
Why? Because of age restriction. The Ministry of Education states that the age requirement for scholarship is 26 years. I’ve been battling everyday to be granted a scholarship but to no avail. So what is their conclusion? To put me into a local degree back in ITB. I have only one year to finish my finals but now I have an additional two years to finish my degree. Do you think it’s fair?
If I knew this would happen, I would have just looked for a job two years ago to support my family. I didn’t study two years of degree only to know I was not granted a scholarship.
This is not my fault. Who is to blame? First of all, I do not understand why there has to be a certain age limit for a student to be granted a scholarship? Haven’t I proved enough that I am a determined student? Just because I’m 31 years old, it doesn’t mean I am “brain dead”. You should be lucky enough to have a student who is willing to study with the purest intention to help serve the country and government in the future.
Age restriction for scholarship should be abolished. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Age does not define one. Look into one of the MIB books where Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said “Biar mengejar ilmu sehingga ke liang lahad”.
This is not the end of my education. I will study hard for the sake of my mother and late father. I will prove that even if I’m placed at the bottom again, I will pull through in the end. I am a strong person and I will be someone one day. And I want to tell all students out there to never give up their dreams. Fight for it. Study hard. Education is important. Hopefully, one day, His Majesty will do something about this matter.