KUCHING: For straight-A STPM scorer Aiman Zulaikha Mohd Fadzli, the world is her oyster but all she wants is to teach English.
Zulaikha firmly believes English is key to being a well-rounded individual.
The SMK Batu Lintang student is applying for a Teaching of English as a Second Language degree in Universiti Malaya.
“English has always been my best subject. I want to teach the subject because it is important, especially for a developing country like Malaysia. English is a language used all round the world,” she said.
Zulaikha studied Science and Mathematics in English in Form Four and Five but by the time she reached Form Six, the language of instruction had changed to Malay.
“I found it confusing to be honest,” said Zulaikha, adding she did not think the change was necessary.
Her father supports her ambition.
“Teaching English will be good. In Malaysia and Sarawak, we really need to improve our English.
“Whether you work in the public or private sector, knowing English will help,” said Mohd Fadzli Abdullah, a manager at a private company.
Zalaikha told reporters that doing the STPM was not her first choice as most of her peers opted for matriculation.
“My dad insisted I take STPM because it is even better than some diplomas. I cried and cried but had to accept it,” she said.
Her fellow SMK Batu Lintang schoomate and straight-A student Alson Lai, said he wanted to study civil engineering at the National University of Singapore because it’s one of the top ranked institutions in Asia.
Lai’s ambition is to build “significant infrastructure” for the country.
“I really want to be involved in a landmark, something important for Malaysia. I like the process of building things.”
Another top student, Chong Pei Swee Chong, said he never pressured himself too much. (His dad quipped Chong was more of a gamer than a studier.
“I didn’t work too hard. I just tried to strike a balance,” Chong said.
The secret to his success was to understand subjects rather than to rote learn.
Chong said his first choice is to study dentistry at university, but if he was offered “something like biotech, that would be OK too”.