Sutarmi (62) stepped down slowly from the wheel chair. She made her way limping to the main podium at the Grha Sabha Pramana UGM. The uric acid disease that has affected her for the past seven years made her unable to walk freely.
Sutarmi came to UGM accepting the invitation for a meeting with around 6,000 parents of new students of UGM on Monday (7/8). She was specifically asked to come forward to the stage to meet with Rector of UGM. She was seen as having successfully raised her children amidst the limited condition. One of her children, Vera Juniati, has been accepted at Chemistry study programme of UGM without doing entrance test and not having to pay tuitions for she has also received Bidikmisi scholarships.
When the Rector of UGM, Prof.Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., D.Eng., greeted her and asked her how she feelt after knowing the success of her daughter to get admitted at the university, she was speechless. The woman from Ngadirejo in Sragen town lost in words but her face shone with happiness. Sutarmi works every day breaking rocks from the river near her home to get money. Obviously, it’s nearly impossible for the family with their limited economic condition to send the children to higher education. But the persistence of the daughter in her study has brought her sweet rewards.
“I’m not smart, but I’m happy my daughter has been accepted here at UGM,” she said in Javanese.
Her face shone even brighter when the UGM Rector handed her a bicycle for the daughter transport mode during studies. Sutarmi was thankful and appreciative to UGM that has shown its care.
“The bike can be used for transportation here, hopefully it can help her with her studies,” said the Rector.
Apart from Sutarmi, there are three more parents receiving bike aid. They are Sukirno, seller from Purbalingga, Asrida, cook from West Sumatera, and Mulyadi Mamonto from Manado. The four of them are representatives of parents whose children are entitled to receive scholarships from the government. They are invited to come to UGM to inspire other parents so that they can give more support to their children to pursue education as far as possible.
UGM opens educational access for everyone, including the underpriviledged. About 27 percent of its students are from this category. In 2017/208 academic year, UGM accepts 8,322 students comprising 6,128 undergraduate students and 2,194 diploma students. As high as 27 percent, or 2,213, are underpriviledged.
To the parents of the new students, Rector of UGM delivered hopes that the students would be able to study well and graduate in time. In the future, they are expected to be state leaders that have noble characters.
“Synergy between parents and university is much expected to support the success of our children. I wish all of them luck studying at UGM,” said Prof. Panut.