By Hafizan Hamzah
JOHOR BAHRU, 24 Nov. — Age is just a number. 77-years-old Ram Sing Gengarajoo, a former Forestry Officer, recently completed his Master of Science in Safety, Health and Environment studies at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
This time, Ram Sing, who is also a grandfather to his eight grandchildren, emerged as the oldest graduate at the 66th UTM Convocation Ceremony. Sharing the success, Ram Sing said continuing his studies at this golden age was not an easy task, but it was one of the challenges that he had successfully overcome.
“The challenge here is not only the age factor, but advancing my study in a different field is the biggest challenge throughout these two-year studies”, he said.
“Previously, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Allahabad, India in 1979. After that, I worked as a Forestry Officer at Sabah Forestry Development Authority (SAFODA) for the past 32 years and Sinar Mas, Indonesia for another eight years”, he added.
Ram Sing currently lives with his son in Singapore. He shared his struggle to attend classes at UTM Johor Bahru Campus from Singapore.
“To attend the classes, I had to cross the Johor causeway every day, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, I was a little relieved as I was allowed to attend the classes online,” he said.
“During these virtual classes, I never felt left out to complete assignments and sit exams like others. I succeeded in doing so, which made me very proud of this success,” he added.
He continued his studies at the post-graduate level because he wanted to enhance his knowledge for his current agricultural consultancy work.
“I found this study very helpful with the consultancy works that I do, and I really enjoy studying while working, even though I have to face bitter challenges,” he said.
He hopes that his success in completing his master’s degree at the age of 77 inspires all who are keen to enhance their knowledge since learning itself is a lifelong journey.
“Everyone should take advantage of their available time to continue learning regardless of age,” he concluded the conversation.