EDUCATION is the only path to a better future.
Despite being looked down on in her early schooling years, Nor Faiza Rosidin, 20 - this year’s best student in the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) 2018 (Orang Asli category) - always held her head up high.
“Mental abuse was among the challenges I faced but I never thought of dropping out.
“The experience has made me grow as a person. It’s given me the maturity to face the future with more confidence.
“Staying in school was the only way I could change my family’s fortune for the better. I had to convince my parents to let me sit for the STPM because they were worried it would be too difficult for me.
“Once I assured them that I would give my best, they relented. So, I couldn’t let them down.”
The eldest of five children born to rubber tapper parents, Nor Faiza from the the Semelai tribe scored a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) score of 3.83.
Although her parents dropped out of primary school, they understand the importance of education and want it for their children.
No matter their background, students can succeed if they stop making excuses, she said.
“Having negative thoughts is
normal but you must find a way around it. Ask for help. Don’t be shy. That’s how we learn.
“Once you’ve made up your mind to study, you must go all the way. Finish what you started.”
Nor Faiza hopes to enrol into Universiti Malaya and major in education, particularly in the field of special education. She wants to learn sign language to communicate with the deaf.
“This is my chance to make a difference in the lives of the disabled community. My twin sister cannot speak and has learning difficulties. Our family cannot communicate with her and it makes me sad. Society looks at these special people as though they’re the ones with a problem. But it’s actually us who have failed to try and understand them.”