SANDAKAN: Old age should not be an obstacle in your desire to learn more, said Winingkasan binti Matirap, 73, who is the oldest student to graduate from Orang Asli and Indigenous Adult Class (Kedap).
Winingkasan, who had seven children and 22 grandchildren, attended the 75-day lessons at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tangkarason in Beluran.
“I have never attended school before and this class for adults which was conducted from February to September 2017 had benefited me and my other village friends.
“I am now able to read and write and still have the determination to learn more if I have the chance to do so,” she said.
Kedap was initially introduced in 2008 using a teaching module and students who enrolled for Kedap need to attend classes conducted three or four times a week for two hours.
Winingkasan was among the 324 students who enrolled in 12 Kedap classes around Sabah and had successfully completed their learning stint and thus received their graduation scroll at the 6th Convocation of Kedap at the Sri Libaran Hall, yesterday.
The graduation scrolls were presented by Chief Minister, Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman, and witnessed by State Education director, Datuk Hajah Maimunah Suhaibul.
Speaking at the ceremony, Musa said that the government realised the importance of giving chances to people regardless of their age to continuously learn and gain knowledge.
“This convocation is one of our national agenda to improve literacy among the people, especially those who were unable to go to school during the early years and living in rural areas.
“We are proud to witness this ceremony knowing that all the graduating students have learned and attended classes despite their routine lives in their respective villages,” he said.
Musa believed that everyone deserve to learn or at least to master reading, writing and counting regardless of their age.
“Education is important and the state government have promised to raise the dignity of education and thus continue to support any educational programmes held for the benefit of the people,” he said.
Musa also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for announcing RM1 billion allocation for upgrading and repair of obsolete school buildings in Sabah in the recent Budget 2018.