Cancer no barrier to achieving excellent UPSR results

Strong spirited Muhammad Ikhwan (right) aspires to be an architect.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite putting off his studies for almost two years as he was commuting from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for chemotherapy, Muhammad Ikhwan Shah Aries Iskandar, 12, was not deterred from achieving outstanding results in the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR).

Armed with enthusiasm and encouragement from friends and teachers, Muhammad Ikhwan, who had leukaemia (Pre B All), obtained a 5As and 1B which allows him to be admitted to Form 1 at Sekolah Sains Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Pekan, Pahang.

“The pain I experienced didn’t interfere with my studies, especially at home I loved to study. I didn’t think I could get such good results,” said Muhammad Ikhwan who aspires to become an architect.

His civil servant father, Aries Iskandar Muhammed, 45, said the youngest of four siblings had been diagnosed with the disease at the age of five.

“We had to commute to Kuala Lumpur for treatment causing him to delay his schooling for two years, but his spirit was strong and I personally did not think he would be able to get such good results,” he told reporters after the ‘Back to School KIDS 2019’ programme here yesterday.

Although Muhammad Ikhwan is now recovering from his illness, but he still needs to get follow-up treatment once a year.

Strong spirited Muhammad Ikhwan (right) aspires to be an architect.

Meanwhile, another recipient of the Integrated Special Education Programme (PPKI) for Alternative Primary School Assessment (PASR) for Special Needs Pupils, Nur Sarah Iman Suhaimi, 12, did not allow brain cancer (brain stem glioma) to deter her from studying.

Her mother, Ismaini Ismail, 48, said that despite many missed lessons and sometimes the pain which prevented her from going to school, her daughter was determined and relentless in her educational pursuit to ensure she succeeded.

“My daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of seven and now Nur Sarah Iman is classified as a palliative care case and relies solely on medication to reduce pain.

“She went to Standard Three in the middle of the year, she could read and write but we saw our child’s weakness compared to other normal children, so the doctor wrote a letter to get her into a special education school and she was persistent and did not allow her illness to become a hindrance to learning,” she said.

Nur Sarah Iman and Muhammad Ikhwan Shah were among the 11 pupils, who received awards for excellence in education and co-curricular activities.

They are among the 140 children afflicted with cancer, who received school supplies and school expenses aid from Affin Islamic Bank and Cagarmas, in conjunction with the upcoming school session. – Bernama