IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN

Racking up success after 4 years of failing

Angsana Primary pupil Nur Shaqeerah Mohammad Fairuz's hard work paid off when she picked up a pass for every subject.
Angsana Primary pupil Nur Shaqeerah Mohammad Fairuz's hard work paid off when she picked up a pass for every subject.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

For almost four years, Nur Shaqeerah Mohammad Fairuz was physically dragged to school by her aunt and was failing every subject.

Her aversion to school started after her parents separated.

"I was sad because my parents were quarrelling, which made it very hard to go to school. I used to fail all my subjects," said the Angsana Primary School pupil.

Ms Foong Yin Wei, the school principal, said: "It takes a whole village to raise a child."

And that was what happened.

Counsellors, teachers, friends and Nur Shaqeerah's older sister, now 14, strove to convince her to go back to school.

Said Nur Shaqeerah: "I saw my sister go to school and it finally encouraged me to go too, so that I can support my family one day."

GOOD EXAMPLE

I saw my sister go to school and it finally encouraged me to go too, so that I can support my family one day.

NUR SHAQEERAH MOHAMMAD FAIRUZ, on what changed her aversion to school.

By Primary 5, Nur Shaqeerah decided to give school her all.

 
 
 

To make up for lost time, she borrowed notes from her friends and dedicated herself to studying a minimum of two hours a day outside of school, with no extra tuition.

She also took part in the Rainbow Programme, a counselling school service, that she is certain was instrumental in improving her confidence.

The hard work paid off, and the 12-year-old picked up a pass for every subject in the Primary School Leaving Examination yesterday morning when she received her results in school. "I am so happy," she said. "My favourite subjects are mathematics and mother tongue."

From not studying at all, Nur Shaqeerah is now committed to education. She said: "I hope to study to become a mathematics and mother tongue teacher one day, and encourage other children to enjoy school too."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Racking up success after 4 years of failing'. Print Edition | Subscribe