Thousands of UGM first-year-students participate in the PPSMB on Monday (7/9) until October. One of them is Muhammad Irsyad, a UGM student from South Solok Regency, West Sumatra. Although he was born with total visual impairment, he was always known as an excellent student in school since childhood. He successfully became the first graduate from his school, who was successfully accepted to study at UGM.
"Surely, there are certain difficulties in learning, but I want to prove to others that I can still outshine despite my limitations," he said.
The youngest of six children admitted that he often found difficulties in the teaching and learning process at school, particularly in learning activities that required him to use textbooks.
Nevertheless, he has friends and family who remain to support him, including to encounter difficulties in studying. Not only able to comprehend lessons well, but he also has even become a regular winner of the class since he was still in elementary school.
"Some friends help me. They helped me read the book's material when I couldn't even read it," said Irsyad.
Irsyad realizes that his district still faces several social problems, ranging from economic inequality to educational inequality.
Therefore, he dedicates to take an education that will prepare him to develop his region and become a stakeholder in the local community's life after completing his high school education.
"In my district, a lot of children do not go to school. This condition is due to the costs or lack of encouragement from their parents. I want to contribute myself to solve problems such as this and help the community," he said.
Starting his final year at high school, Irsyad began to wish to study at UGM. Both parents had doubts about this choice. So far, his parents always accompany Irsyad when he is outside the home. Hence, Irsyad's parent is worried if Irsyad will have to live alone away from them in a new place.
However, Irsyad kept trying to convince them that he was ready to face the challenges that would arise later and learn to live independently. With his parents' blessing, he also proved his dedication to participating in the new student admissions at UGM.
He started to collect information regarding the selection process and the things he had to prepare. He only relies on the internet to learn everything about this selection, including to find out for materials for the selection test or UTBK.
"I didn't pay for tutors, so I could only diligently read the practice questions found on the internet and search for videos on YouTube," he said.
He conducted UTBK in Padang city, and after waiting for several weeks, Irsyad finally received information that he had successfully passed the test to be a UGM student candidate.
Emotion and pride surround him because of those closest that finally brought him in passing his struggle. Besides, they also gave support and prayers that had brought him to become a UGM student. He starts his days with great enthusiasm as a UGM first-year-student and dedicates himself later to make other achievements.
"There are always ways in every desire. What we need to do is instill that desire in our hearts," Irsyad said.
Translator: Natasa A