Mohammad Andika Alfarisi was hesitant at first to see the announcement of Joint Entrance Test to State Universities (SNMPTN). His hesitation only increased when he saw his fellow students from SMA Negeri 10 Padang, West Sumatra, were in tears after checking they had not made it. So, Andika went home instead and when alone silently checking the announcement through his mobile phone.
"At home, I opened the site and the sign was green. Red meant not passing. I yelled out and went down to kiss the ground to thank God,” said Andika. His mother, Mardanita, went towards him and hugged him.
"So that’s how it went. Thank God I’ve been admitted through the SNMPTN at Civil Engineering department of UGM, my first choice,” said Andika in his home at Jalan Raya Korong Gadang RT 003 RW 002, Kuranji district in Padang recently.
Mohammad Andika Alfarisi was born in Padang on 11 August 2000. He always made the grade since primary school at Madrasah Korong Gadang, Madrasah Ibtidaiyah Model Padang, and SMA Negeri 10 Padang.
"Alhamdulillah, I always ranked first in my elementary school, but in junior and senior high schools, it was a bit of a competition because my fellow students were also excellent. It was a tight competition to get into the top 10,” said Andika.
Andika said he had no special trick to get admitted through the SNMPTN. He just felt that he had good friends who were easy to study with. Both of his close friends, M. Kevin Rozal and Fauzul Akmal Huda, had the same luck as him at UGM. Kevin Rozal will be a student of Computer science while Fauzul Akmal Huda Statistics.
"I couldn’t be happier. The three of us go together to UGM, even if at different faculties,” he said.
Andika confessed he does not like reading books and prefers solving math problems. His grades in maths and physics always excelled. Along with the two fellow students, Andika learned together. They are very close even like brothers. Kevin and Fauzul often spent some of their pocket money for Andika knowing that Andika is from an unfortunate family.
Andika is the son of a motorcycle driver for a ride hailing app whose income ranges between 1 - 2 million per month. His father has still to support the education of a daughter, Tasya Ratumelinda Indah Putri, who is still at 8th grade. Andika said he had not passed the selection of government scholarship for the impoverished, Bidikmisi, at the first place. So the family had initially to borrow money to pay for the registration. But Andika did not give up. When doing his Accept English test and processing to get his Student Card, he braced himself to talk to the Directorate of Student Affairs at UGM and told them his problems. Then he was given another document to fill in. He hoped this time the application for the scholarship would get a satisfactory result.
Andika has a strong motivation to keep studying, unlike his brother, Satria Mardiansyah, who failed to continue study and fail to be a police officer. So, now while waiting for college to start, Andika in Padang tries to be a driver just like his father.
Andika has made his parents happy, even their friends and neighbours are proud that a boy from Korong Gadang made it to UGM.
The father, Irwansyah, said in junior high school, Andika earned scholarships and in high school he did not have to pay the tuition because the Mayor in office decides to free new students from tuitions, he said.
Now, amidst the joy of having Andika in college, Irwansyah is heavy-hearted thinking about the funding.
“Even now I still live with my parents-in-law. With a two-million income, it’s hard for me. But I hope there will be a way out for Andika to study at UGM,” said Irwansyah with wet eyes.