WAWASAN Open University (WOU) celebrated its 10th convocation ceremony recently with 740 graduates receiving their scrolls at the main campus here.
But what stood out among the sea of scrolls and robes, were five post graduate students in their 70s who were given special recognition. One graduate is disabled while another is an epitome of WOU’s slogan of dedication to lifelong learning.
Top post graduate student Chay Foo Soon received the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize. He graduated with a MEd in Education but previously also earned three other credentials in a CeMBA (Masters in Business), a diploma in sales and marketing and a BA (Hon) in Sales and Marketing.
Mangayarkarasy Velayutham, 71, from Skudai, Johor also earned a MEd but she did it at an age where most people are retired. Her message is that senior citizens need not retire as they can still contribute to their families and society.
Other senior citizens who graduated at the convocation ceremony are - Kamilia Tan Abdullah, 76, from Johor Bahru, and Wong Seow Chee, 72, from Kuala Lumpur. Devotees to the concept of lifelong learning, they graduated with a MEd each.
Belinda Chee Jin Wei from Kuching, Sarawak who is paralysed on the right side of her body, graduated with a Diploma in education, the trained engineer who teaches tuition, wants to become an educator.
WOU Chancellor YAM Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar who presided over his first convocation, said that having qualifications are important, but institutions of higher learning must advocate about character and integrity as well as transparency in today’s world where information is just a click away.