KOTA KINABALU: Despite the stereotype that boys do better in technical and vocational studies, girls have achieved highest grades in all four diploma courses during the morning session of Politeknik Kota Kinabalu 23rd Convocation, yesterday.
Norbayah Ahmad, 28, who received an excellent award for her diploma in mechanical engineering, said achieving good result in academic and co-curriculum required realistic goals.
“As for me, I have been through so many challanges in life, where I have to stop schooling when I was in Form Four due to personal matter.
“After seven years away from school, I came back with a goal. I want to be an educator. My mission was clear and I want to achieve it. I took my SPM in 2014 but my result was not good enough for me to register in a teacher’s college.
“In 2015, I decided to pursue my study in Kota Kinabalu Politeknik and aimed for the best student award, which I did.
“Today, I am doing my degree in Technical University of Malaysia in Malacca and I am planning to be a lecturer. I am confident that I am half way there,” she said.
Norbayah, who is from Telipok, said although mechanical engineering is often related to boys, the course is actually suitable for everyone despite their gender because machanical engineering is basically to discover how things work.
“As women, we don’t have to compete with men. We have to compete with ourselves and be a better version every single day,” she said.
As for Tamparuli girl Floyana Chin who received an industrial award for being an excellent trainee during her industrial training, her responsibility as the eldest of three siblings was the main reason for her to perform well.
“My other siblings and I were raised by a single mother. I witnessed my mother struggling with her day job as a teacher and full-time parent. It was not easy, I know.
“I have no option but to do good in studies, get a job and help my mother to support my other siblings,” she said.
Floyana, who is currently working in Petaling Jaya as a junior programmer said she showed her appreciation by giving her first salary to her mother.
“Living in big city like Petaling Jaya is not easy because the cost is high, but I am grateful for this opportunity. I will gain a lot of experience to allow me to contribute to the industry in Sabah.
“I also hope more Sabahans will start looking at skills and technical institutions as their choice because there are so many opportunities in this line,” she said.
Shanthana Shanmuganatan, who received the Politeknik Director Award, said she always maintained good relationship with lecturers because it was easier for her to ask questions and involved in various activities.
“Since I am from Selangor, I don’t have family here. I only have friends and lecturers, so I can focus on co-curriculum. I have the best experience studying here, and I’m glad choosing Sabah for my diploma course.
“I am currently working as a service associate at front office department, Pulse Grande Hotel in Putrajaya and I enjoyed working there.
“I will continue working for more experience and will see if there is a bigger opportunity in the future,” she added.
Sabah Head of State, Tun Juhar Mahiruddin handed over all the scrolls during the first session.
During his opening speech, Juhar expressed his appreciation for the excellent performance of Politeknik Kota Kinabalu as a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centre in the state.
He said the increase of employability from 93.5 percent in 2017 to 95 percent in 2018 showed that the institution was on the right track producing skilled workers that were needed by the industry.
During the convocation, Juhar handed over 348 diplomas and certificates.
Also present were Polytechnic and Community College Education director general Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz and director of Kota Kinabalu Politeknik, Zainab Othman.