Achmad Basri, former teacher who now works as a barber in a simple barbershop in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, knows very well the importance of education for someone.
So, to his two children and wife, Sari Kasnah, he never stopped telling them the importance of persistence and determination in pursuing knowledge. He had a dream to see his eldest daughter, Choiriya Azzahra, to get educated at a renown university.
“I want my children to have better education than I. From a friend whose children study at UGM, I heard that UGM graduates had bigger opportunities to get employed anywhere they want, so I finally encouraged my daughter to study there. But actually I was dubious initially because of our financial condition,” said Achmad who was met at his simple home which he built with the funding contributions from his parents.
His income as a barber is just enough to meet their daily needs. At times it occurred to him that good education was just for those with bigger wallets. But it turned out that the determination of the children that had opened the way for a study at UGM.
Choiriya has finally been accepted at Faculty of Pharmacy UGM without the need to pay for tuitions because she became one of hundreds of UGM students that are entitled to receive the government Bidikmisi scholarship. Her teacher had noticed Choiriya’s strong determination to continue her education so she encouraged her to apply for the Bidikmisi scholarships.
“He teacher keeps encouraging and supporting her by doing the necessary things to apply for the scholarships. I did not expect it that my daughter will finally be studying at UGM,” he said softly, touched by the truth.
Choiriya was speechless when knowing she would study at UGM with a scholarship. At that time, she recalled, she hurriedly came to the place where her father worked to let him know of the good news.
“It’s my parents who has always supported me, giving me reminders and spirit,” she said.
She did not expect to be admitted because when she applied for the national entrance selection, she learned that many of her seniors had failed before in the same selection. Now realising her valuable opportunity, she promised her parents to be a persistent and never-give-up person during her studies until she would graduate and one day become successful.
“I hope after graduation I could work and help other people, be someone that benefits society, and obviously make my parents proud,” she said with a smile.