A chance to prove street kids can make it too

BANGI: They obtained excellent results in the SPM and STPM exams which paved the way to gaining admission to a public institution of higher learning of their choice.

But their enthusiasm to escape from the chains of poverty and get away from the city’s dark alleys was abruptly dampened when the online application forms required identification documents.

So much so that 21-year-old Puteri Nur Arissa Mohd Noor, a former student of the Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih (SBJK) in Chow Kit, found herself on the brink of giving up.

Little did she think that the persistent challenge plaguing the street community – that of a lack of identification documents – would become a huge barrier to her aspirations of becoming an educator.

Not having an identity card almost derailed Puteri Nur Arissa’s goal of pursuing higher education.

ALSO READ: ID key to a bright future

Fortunately, hope for this fourth of five siblings was revived after SBJK and the Education Ministry stepped in to assist her in pursuing a degree at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) last Sept 30.

“I am grateful for all these opportunities. The path to (gaining knowledge) was difficult right from PT3 (Form Three Assessment) and STPM until entering UKM.

“I was driven to continue pursuing my ambitions. All these achievements are not for me but it is to thank everyone who helped me, especially SBJK whom I see as my family,” she told Bernama.

Puteri Nur Arissa hoped that her identity document issue would be sorted out soon and wished that her achievement would inspire other street children to persevere and nurture their dreams for a better life.

Another street child who managed to transform her destiny, Puteri Umira Abdul Razak, 21, likened her life to that of a refugee, constantly living in fear of the authorities due to a lack of identification documents until 2022.

“Thankfully, everything is now complete... with my birth certificate and MyKad, I can move about freely. I truly appreciate everyone’s help, especially SBJK which allowed me to study even without documents at that time,” said Puteri Umira, who obtained her identification documents while studying at Kolej Tingkatan Enam Pudu Jaya, Cheras, in 2022.

The fourth of five siblings, she is currently pursuing a degree in Malay Language Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM, and wants to become an educator to help alleviate the plight of street children, just like Puteri Nur Arissa.

Commenting on students of SBJK’s progress to higher education, principal Zamzuri Abdullah said since its founding in 2013, three students have entered university, two advanced to Form Six, two became entrepreneurs, and others received training at community colleges and also became kindergarten teachers.

SBJK students showed commendable improvement, with the school’s SPM pass results improving from 67% to 82% over the years.

Notably, all eight SBJK candidates who sat for the exam in 2022 were successful.

This underscores the potential for success within the community when provided with equal educational opportunities, including access to identity documents.

Related stories:

ID key to a bright future

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