AFTER more than 30 years as an educationist, Abdul Fatah Abdul Karim, 56, recently clocked out for the last time from SMK Bandar Sunway, where he had served as principal for the past four years and four months.
To bid him farewell, the school held a special ceremony at the end of the year.
It was a touching event in which students and teachers tried to show their gratitude to their out-going headmaster before he was driven off in a vintage car.
A humble Abdul Fatah said he was just happy to have been able to do something for the school.
Teachers said his positive and practical style of administration had done much for the development of the school. More importantly, he accepted students for their limitations and encouraged them to excel in whichever fields they were interested in.
Abdul Fatah’s own career as an educationist could be described as illustrious.
He started his career as a teacher in SMK Tun Abdul Razak in Selekoh, Perak, after obtaining his teaching certificate from the Malayan Teachers College in Johor Baru.
From 1970 he served as a teacher in three secondary schools before he was appointed as assistant director of the Education Planning and Research Division in the Education Ministry for 14 years from 1982.
In 1996, he was appointed principal of SMK Projek in Shah Alam, Selangor, before he was offered another post in the education department.
Abdul Fatah will also be remembered for his contribution to the development of sports in the Petaling district, where he served as sports officer for the Selangor School Sports Council.
Apart from that, he was also president of the Bandar Sunway Kiwanis Club and chairman of the Selangor think-tank group for education development.
Abdul Fatah, who is married to Zawidatul Asma Zainuddin and is blessed with three sons, two daughters and four grandchildren, hopes to be a consultant in ICT and work part-time in education as a motivator, saying he would prefer more flexible working hours after his retirement.
“Always listen to and obey your parents and teachers in order to be somebody successful in future,” is his message to all students of SMK Bandar Sunway.