Eye problem, no problem, says SPM high achiever

Jane Teng, who has vision problems, together with her mother pose for a photograph.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Mar 5: Having serious eyesight problems from the age of 12 did not deter Jane Teng from scoring nine As in her SPM examinations.

The SMK Meradong student, who has low vision due to an unchecked inflammation, said she often has trouble seeing the differences between black and white and has to use a magnifying glass to read.

Despite the difficulties, Teng expressed joy to have achieved such an excellent result.

“I am very lucky because my teachers and friends were very helpful. It was really hard in the beginning to accept my condition but teachers motivated and guided me to overcome and come out of it,” she said.

Teng, who scored 6A+, 2A, 1A- and 1C+, was accompanied by her mother to receive her results and her certificate at the state-level SPM 2019 announcement ceremony held at Sarawak Education Department, Jalan Diplomatik here today.

On how she studied for her exams, she shared that she locked herself in her room and studied without noise and distractions, as well as actively seeking help from teachers when she encountered problem in her studies.

As for her future plans, Teng, who has ambitions to become a teacher, said that she will apply to enter the Teachers’ Training College.

“I hope to become a teacher to help students who may be facing problems like me, so that they don’t have to give up due to some obstacles. Plus, my brother is also a teacher,” she added.

Two of state’s SPM top scorers Kelvin Ngu (left) and Dennis Hii (right) of SMK Sacred Heart Sibu showing their result slips and certificates.

Meanwhile, one of the three Sarawak top scorers in SPM 2019, Kelvin Ngu from SMK Sacred Heart Sibu, who scored 11A+, was shocked but grateful for such an outstanding result.

“I wasn’t confident that I’d score A+, especially in Mandarin and Biology subjects. This is really unexpected,” he said.

When asked about tips to study for good result, he shared there was no special or specific techniques but basic hard work and discipline – focus in class, complete homework and revisions.

“I put extra effort in studying throughout last year. I even stopped playing mobile games for months before the exams to focus on studying.

“And praying, I think this is important especially when stress, worried or feeling weak. I believe God is working things out for good,” he added.

As for future plan, Ngu hopes to get a scholarship to pursue a foundation course before a full degree in engineering in Information Technology or Chemical.

Ngu’s classmate Dennis Hii, who also scored 11A+, was grateful, happy and proud because it was beyond his expectation to be one of the top three scorers in Sarawak in SPM 2019.

“I put a lot of effort during Form Five. I just prayed hard, focused in school and revised extra hard at home. I also went for tuition for certain subjects,” he said.

Hii is planning to get a scholarship to study law overseas.

Overall, Sarawak recorded improvement in the SPM examinations, scoring 5.18 in National Average Grade (GPN) compared to 5.19 in 2018.

State Education director Dr Azhar Ahmad said that of the total 36,021 candidates who sat for the national examinations, 27,178 or 84.61 per cent managed to obtain their certificates with a pass in Bahasa Malaysia and History subjects as the minimum requirement.

In terms of student performance, 16 candidates achieved A+ in all subjects compared to eight in 2018, with June Pau of SMK Bintulu as well as Dennis Hii and Kelvin Ngu of SMK Sacred Heart, becoming the state’s top SPM scorer with 11A+.

Seven students scored 10A+ and six students scored 9A+.

Dr Azhar pointed out that the number of students who scored at least A- in all subjects had also improved 0.11 per cent, with 559 candidates for last year’s SPM when compared to 533 in 2018. —DayakDaily

Dr Azhar (third row, fourth right) in a photo with all the students who achieved excellent results in SPM 2019.