JOHOR BARU: A part-time tuition teacher, who was the oldest graduate of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) when he did his first degree in science and computer, has retained his record – this time for his second degree in electrical engineering.
Despite taking eight years to complete his second degree at the university’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UTMSpace), 78-year-old Kwok Yan Chee (pic) persevered and finally graduated yesterday.
The retired teacher, who taught in four schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor for 32 years, said he took up electrical engineering – a field he has always been interested in – in 2007.
In March that year, Kwok got his Bachelor of Science and Computer with Education (Mathematics) and created history then as UTM’s oldest graduate.
“I have been furthering my studies for my own satisfaction and self-improvement. I did it at my own pace, dividing my time between studies and my job as a tuition teacher.
“But I was not a very good student and had to retake a few subjects. I am glad I held on despite the challenges,” he said after his convocation at UTM’s Skudai campus.
Kwok, a bachelor, said he was always the odd man out whether in class or at the convocation due to his age and was thankful that his classmates and lecturers did not treat him differently.
“They were always helpful in class and during experiments and assignments, and did not mind me asking questions,” he added.
However, studying at his age was not without difficulty as Kwok had to sacrifice his time for rest as classes were held during weekends and he had to teach on weekdays.
He hopes to inspire the younger generation to be self-motivated and not give up easily when facing challenges.
“Parents should also keep a close eye on their children’s studies from an early age because education is the most important thing in a person’s life for their future,” he said.