A Mother’s LoveWebmaster
At OUM, we like to talk about our learners and graduates. After all, the success of so many people from such diverse backgrounds makes everything we do worthwhile. However, we sometimes forget that behind every success story, there are other stories also worth telling.
For 38-year-old Mohd Ramdzan Zainol Abidin, that story belongs to his mother.
Ramdzan was born deaf and mute. All his life, he has struggled with communicating with others, but his disability never slowed him down. Throughout his schooling years, he did not get the chance to fully explore his potential as a learner. But as soon as he discovered OUM in 2009, he began showing a remarkable tenacity for learning.
Today, Ramdzan is a two-time alumnus, having graduated with a diploma and bachelor’s degree in information technology. He will be graduating again with a Master of Management this coming September, and soon begin a new journey as a doctoral candidate as well.
In all those years, Mashita Mohd Noor has always been at her son’s side, accompanying him to the library to borrow books or find references, or to the learning centre for tutorials and meetings with staff and lecturers. Sometimes, she would even attend classes with him, speaking and interpreting for him when necessary. Some might say she has been as much a learner as he is.
Ramdzan knows his mother has been a big help, though he adds cheekily, “She’s also a big critic, and always has a comment or two about how I’m doing.
“I’m grateful for all she’s done to make me the person I am today. The times we attended my convocation together have been particularly sweet memories for me.”
Mashita, however, maintains a more modest perspective. She says, “I’ve only done what any other mother would do as ultimately, we all want our children to succeed. The only thing I can take credit for is giving Ramdzan extra attention because of his inability to speak or hear.
“He is the one who has given so much to me. He has taught me strength, and shown me what it takes to succeed despite his disability. This is not something every mother gets to experience.”
Sixty-seven-year-old Mashita is proud of how far her third and youngest child has come in his quest for knowledge. “I’m thankful to Allah SWT for easing his journey. It has taken a lot of patience, understanding, tolerance, and awareness to get here, so it warms my heart that he has made it.”
A self-professed travel enthusiast, Ramdzan hopes his qualifications would help him rise through the ranks in the government sector, where he has worked for more than 12 years. The Kuala Lumpur native also hopes to inspire others like him discover the educational opportunities he has enjoyed at OUM.
For Mashita, she wants nothing but the best for her son: “I hope he will put all that he has learnt to good use, whether for deaf-mutes or other disabled people.”
What she deserves to know is that through her love as a mother, she too is an inspiration to the OUM community.
Ramdzan shares this pantun as a tribute to his mother and all others who have helped him along the way:
Ke pasar membeli pinang,
Simpan mari di dalam peti,
Budi baik tetap dikenang,
Kan tersimpan erat di hati.
By Tengku Amina Munira