Students overcome odds to achieve dreams at N-level results release
Normal (Academic) student did not let special educational needs affect her, while Normal (Technical) student juggled schooling and part-time job to help family
Being diagnosed with sensory processing and sequencing difficulties at the end of Secondary One helped Jacqueline Kow understand why she needed more time to process information and understand concepts, compared with her peers.
Yet she did not allow the special educational needs and challenges that came with it to define her or hinder her learning journey at CHIJ Secondary, where she joined the athletics and swimming co-curricular activities, participated in competitions and became a member of the executive committee.
The 16-year-old Normal (Academic) student, who scored a ELMAB3 raw score of fewer than 12 points in her N-levels, told The New Paper: "I was not afraid to ask for help and ask questions. My teachers really helped me by giving me extra lessons, consultations and extra practice so I could learn better.
"I am also grateful for my family's love and affirmation as they tell me to just do my best."
Jacqueline is keen to pursue a diploma in mass communication at Ngee Ann Polytechnic through the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP), which she is eligible for, and eventually a career in digital marketing or public relations.
She said: "I want to encourage others to persevere. Don't give up, because you never know what you can achieve."
She was one of the 9,290 N(A) candidates - or 99.7 per cent; an increase from 99.5 per cent last year - who passed the N(A)-levels, out of which 77.7 per cent qualified for Secondary 5 next year.
Normal (Technical) candidates had a similar showing, with 98.5 per cent passing the N(T)-levels, an increase from 98.1 per cent last year.
Among the 13,477 candidates who received their N-level results yesterday, 16-year-old Haafis Faijul Rahman from the N(T) course in Beatty Secondary School said: "I was nervous when preparing for the exams. I was scared that I would fail."
His fears were unfounded as he scored six points for his ELMAB3, with an A for his favourite subject Design and Technology.
Haafis' father, a chef with a monthly income of $2,000 and who clocks daily 10-hour work days, is the sole breadwinner of a family of nine, who live in a one-room rental flat.
The eldest of seven siblings, Haafis decided to ease the family's financial burden as he "felt bad" for his dad.
He was 14 when he started his part-time job at McDonald's, working eight-hour shifts on weekends and sometimes four- to six-hour shifts on weekdays , earning $500 a month.
Thanks to his successful jugging act, he is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a pilot after being accepted into the Aerospace Technology course at ITE College Central through the Early Admissions Exercise.