HOME is where the heart was for the majority of students who were confined to their campuses during the movement control order (MCO).
Thanks to the Higher Education Ministry’s ‘IPT Pulang’ initiative, some 50,000 students from higher learning institutions across the nation were reunited with loved ones.
Among them were INTI International College Subang (INTI) students Fatin Nur Suhaila Jalal, Tilaagan Kalaimaran and Lim Hui En.
Missing her family, Tilaagan was worried that she would not be able to see them for a long time if it weren’t for the ministry’s initiative.
“Thankfully, I managed to arrive safely back in my hometown Masai, Johor,” said the student who is pursuing a 4+0 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in collaboration with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
Fatin Nur Suhaila Jalal, who is pursuing 4+0 Bachelor of Arts in Communication in collaboration with SNHU, was overwhelmed during her journey back home.
She was scheduled to return to Ipoh, along with other INTI students who had to make their way to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam before boarding a bus to Perak.
She described the experience as “hectic” as there were about 200 other students plus government authorities at UiTM that day.
“Policemen, firemen and government health officials scrambled to check our travel documents, ensure our documents were stamped, sanitise all our luggage, and check our temperatures while we students maintained social distancing and waited to board the buses home,” she said adding that students understood the need for these safety measures and waited patiently for their turn to board the bus.
Fatin also shared that the bus she was in was checked several times by policemen at roadblocks along the way.
She had to undergo another health screening, before reuniting with her father at Stadium Indera Mulia, Ipoh.
After the compulsory 14-day quarantine, Fatin was back to spending time with her family while continuing her online classes and alternative assessments.
“While Internet connectivity is better in Subang than in my hometown, I like that it is less noisy in Ipoh, as you barely hear any cars or food delivery motorcycles honking,” said Fatin.
Mass Communication student Lim Hui En, who returned to her hometown in Padang Tengku, Pahang, shared similar sentiments about studying at home.
“The Internet connectivity is poor in my own house, so I have to travel by motorbike to my grandmother’s house every time I have classes, discussions or an alternative assessment,” she said.
INTI International University and Colleges chief executive officer Tan Lin Nah was relieved students arrived safely in their hometowns and are keeping up with their studies despite the challenges.
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