On lifelong learning journey

Koh (seated left) having a chat with Sundre while her daughter and grandchildren look on.

DESPITE her age, Sundre Sadu Singh, 78, has been hitting the books and recently earned another degree.

When she first signed up for her degree in education at Wawasan Open University (WOU) in 2007, Sundre vowed to fulfil her promise to her mother to continue her studies.

After getting her degree in 2010, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in education at WOU.

On Nov 26, she had a proud moment when receiving her scroll from university chancellor Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar, watched by her children and grandchildren.

Tunku Imran, in his speech, said every higher education institution in the country had a critical role to play in getting students to shift their focus towards global-mindedness.

He said everyone was inter- dependent and their actions were inter-connected.

Sundre has passed on her late mother’s advice for continuous education to her four children who are a doctor, lawyer, professor and IT specialist.

“Some of my children are still pursuing their higher-level education.

“I hope they will pass my mother’s words of wisdom to their own children,” she said after WOU’s 13th convocation ceremony at the university’s main campus in George Town, Penang.

Sundre still keeps herself busy with no sign of slowing down.

She operates a tuition centre where she teaches English, runs a cleaning service company and also helps run an orphanage in Setia Alam, Selangor.

Sundre had a road accident in 1983 and was hospitalised for a year, but that did not stop her from pursuing her dream to continue learning.

“As long as you are alive, do your best and continue studying to keep your mind alert,” she advised the young.

The plucky grandmother has now registered to do a doctorate in education at WOU. Classes will begin next year.

Another proud graduate was Reiki Institute Malaysia founder and head Datuk Che Seow Foon, 40, who received the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Gold Prize for being one of the best postgraduate students.

She completed her master’s of arts in psychology in two years and plans to pursue her PhD next.

“I made use of the movement control order during the pandemic to focus more on my studies instead of my business.

“In a way, it was a blessing in disguise because if not for the pandemic, I think I would have hardly focussed on my studies,” she said.

At the convocation ceremony on Nov 26, 27 and Dec 3, a total of 1,145 postgraduate and undergraduate students received their scrolls.

Five recipients of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Gold Prize registered top scores at postgraduate level while three graduates were awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for being top students from the ODL (online-distance learning) undergraduate programmes.

Two graduates received the Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for being the top on-campus learning students.

WOU has produced 7,277 graduates since 2007.

Also present at the ceremony were pro-chancellor Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng, WOU board of governors chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and WOU Sdn Bhd board of directors chairman Datuk Seri Stephen Yeap Leong Huat.

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