JOHOR BARU: Suffering from nerve problems since birth and being confined to a wheelchair only motivated Khairunnisaq Khairuddin to beat the odds and score straight As in her Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM).
The 20-year-old exceeded her parents’ expectations to score the maximum 4.00 cumulative grade point average (CGPA).
Although her parents did not place high expectations or pressure her to perform in her studies, Khairunnisaq was determined to do well to realise her ambition of becoming a psychology lecturer.
The eldest of three children said due to her condition, she would sleep and rest for eight to 10 hours a day and finding time to study was challenging.
“I also fell sick and skipped school quite often. Thankfully I have caring and patient teachers who sent notes to my house to ensure I did not miss out on lessons whenever I was on medical leave.
“I usually spend about two hours to go through my notes so I can keep up with the rest of my class,” she said when met during the excellence award ceremony organised by the Johor Education Department (JPN).
Khairunnisaq, from SMK Bandar Mas, Kota Tinggi, received an excellence award for her achievement under the physical disability category.
Lim Xin Huo from SMK Seri Bandar Pontian, who scored a CGPA of 3.92, also received an award.
Lim, who has limited sight, managed to score 3As for General Studies, Geography and Economics and 1A- for History.
“I felt I could have done better in History,” he said.
A special award was also given to SMK Seri Kota Puteri discipline teacher Suraya Abdul Rahim for her outstanding contribution towards the success of an 18-year-old student who dropped out of school a few times and did not show up for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) trial examination.
After finding out about Farah Marcella Bandi’s poor living conditions and family problems, the 38-year-old teacher took her in and nurtured her to score 6As, 1B+ and 1C+ in the examination.
JPN director Shaharudin Sharif commended the students and teachers for their efforts.
He said 2016 was an excellent year for SPM, STPM and STAM (Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia) candidates in Johor.