KUALA NERUS, Oct 14 -- Poverty and family issues did not stop a graduate from Sultan Zainal Abidin University (UniSZA) from achieving excellence in his studies.
Instead, the shortcomings prompted Mohd Aswan Mohd Amin, 24, to work harder and secure a degree in Social Sciences (Anthropology and Dakwah). He even received a Royal Education Award at the 11th UniSZA Convocation ceremony here today.
Sharing his life story, Mohd Aswan said he came from a poor family with nine siblings.
His parents' separated when he was 11, hence affecting the family's economic situation.
His mother, who has never had a job was forced to borrow money from relatives and to sell all of her jewellery, to keep her children from starving.
“There were times I saw my mother cried while praying and poured her heart out to Allah, but she never showed any sadness in front of her children,” he told reporters when met after the ceremony at the Dewan Muktafi Billah Shah here today.
Mohd Aswan was grateful that his mother would no longer suffer because he had secured a job as a Dakwah Officer in the Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department, upon graduating last April.
“The family from my father’s side also helped financially. My foster mother, Siti Salwa Ahmad, who was my teacher while I was in Kota Kinabalu Form Six College even helped to fund my education throughout Form Six and First Year at the UniSZA,” he said. He managed to earn a Cumulative Average Grade Rating (CGPA) of 3.75.
Meanwhile, a wheelchair user who is also an Aegrotat Degree recipient, Nur Husna Md Lazim, 28, was grateful to receive her Bachelor of Dietetics degree with CGPA of 3.37.
She said since she was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure in 2009, her poor health forced her to commute to the hospital thrice a week for dialysis.
Nur Husna said her health had deteriorated to a point where it was hard for her to stand up and walk since last February, while she was doing her practical training at the Penang Hospital.