Disabled teacher proves a point


  • Education
  • Sunday, 29 Aug 2004

By Hariati Azizan

AN EQUAL chance was all Shamshad Begham Othman, 46, needed to prove herself. She received her Masters degree in the Teaching of English as A Second Language (TESL) at the 20th International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) convocation ceremony last week. 

A high fever when she was three years old resulted in Shamshad losing her ability to walk. However, that did not deter her from pursuing her dream.  

The spirited English lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara's (UiTM) campus in Terengganu said that a strong will and determination have pushed her to strive for her best. 

THE WILL TO SUCCEED: Shamshad (centre) shares her joy with (from left) Rector’s Award winner Khairul Azami Sidek, Best Overall Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad scholar Ahmad Imran Ibrahim, Shariq Haseeb and Royal Education Award winner Zunaidah Mohd Marzuki at the convocation.

“Friends, family and people I meet have been supportive, but without a strong spirit, I think I might have faltered from achieving my ambition in life,” she shared, adding that IIUM is very disabled friendly as facilities such as ramps have been put everywhere.  

Shamshad is also the only member of her family to have attended university. She adds that her disability has not been a barrier in her teaching career. 

“Interest is the most important thing in teaching. If you are fully able and normal, but have no interest in teaching, you will not make a good teacher either.”  

A total of 2,449 undergraduates and 656 postgraduates received their scrolls during the three-day event.  

The opening ceremony was attended by the IIUM constitutional head, the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah Al Mustain Billah and the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. 

The highlight of the convocation was the conferment of a honorary doctorate to Saudi Arabia's Minister of Hajj, Iyad Amin Madani. 

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