Their success was even sweeter because it was shared by their two children, Mritickah,10, and Pavitran, 8, as well as their parents who supported them tirelessly and made huge sacrifices to ensure the success of the two teachers.
Ilangko currently teaches at St. George’s Girls School while his wife, Parameswari is a teacher at the Datuk Keramat Convent School (C). They received their Doctorates in the field of Education and Communication respectively.
Ilangko said that he and his wife, who have been educators for more than 20 years, had planned to pursue their studies together to the highest level.
“Although there were many sacrfices, I am very happy wth our success. This is a gift to our children who had to sacrifice agreat deal while we were pursuing our studies,” he said.
He added that there were times when he was very sad because he had to sacrifice precious time with his children, especially when they were still young just so that he could complete his studies.
“My wife and I had to take no-pay leave to complete our studies. This was a very heavy price to pay but it was all worth it because we have been repaid with this success today,” he said.
Paramaswari said that it was not easy to juggle family, work and studies at the same time. “However, I was determined to succeed. I drew up a schedule so that it would be easier to manage everything and I am very glad that my family, especially my parents were very supportive and helped in any way they could,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Zafwan Rahimi Abd. Rahim, 23, another graduand, expressed his happiness and excitement when he successfully completed his studies in the field of Social Sciences, with a specialization in Planning and Development Management.
It was a sweet victory because Zafwan Rahimi has been in a wheelchair ever since he was involved in a road accident when he was 16. He said that he doesn’t see his disability as an obstacle but rather he tries and competes with others to pursue knowledge.
“I am very happy because my efforts have not been in vain and I am grateful to all those who helped me, especially my family, friends and the USM authorities who provided the facilities for people like me to further their studies in the university. Initially, I found it difficult but with my parents prayers and blessings I have successfully completed my studies and am planning to pursue a Master’s degree,” he said.
He said that in the first six months of his studies, he was a little bothered by the problem of obtaining a suitable wheelchair to go back and forth from his hostel to the lecture halls.
“In the beginning, I did not have an electric wheelchair and had to ask my friends to help me out. But USM then provided full assistance and now I can move freely without having to bother my friends anymore,” he said.
Zafwan has three siblings and he is the eldest child of Abd. Rahim Omar, 53, a mechanic with an oil and gas company in Terengganu and Nafisah Mohammad, 50, a homemaker.