Monday, November 25, 2013

Institute of Technology MARA and UiTM

One day in 1977, I received a call from one Puan Aishah of ITM in Shah Alam who wanted to meet up with me to ascertain whether I was interested in taking up a part-time job as a lecturer with the college.  She was the head of the School of Hotel and Catering Management, and the course she wanted me to lecture in was in the "Diploma in Tourism Administration", and it involved the final year students.

I was a little apprehensive on two account.  First, it was just after the great campus riot, and secondly, my BM.  Although I could speak the language well, but I figured it would be a different cup of tea entirely when coming to giving academic lectures.

When I drove into the campus that afternoon to meet her, there were debris all around.  I must have thought I had just driven into a war zone. The meeting was interesting and to my surprise I was told that my lecture was to be conducted in English.  And so began my journey with my students in ITM.

During the first 6 months of my lectureship with the college, I found the students to be smart, they articulated very well in English, believe in a socialist order of life and even one or two of them were quite self-opinionated about their belief (not religiously though) which sometimes can be overbearing, but well intended.  Although religion was important but never the main focus. Race relations was fantastic as far as I was concerned.  We mixed well with no hang-ups.  On the day when they finished their last paper for the exam, I would be there to have a little tea gathering with them at the 'mamak-teria' (just across the field) and to wish them all the best for the future.  I used to tell them, "Your journey in life now begins".

These are my students from the 1983 batch.

The blogger (in batik shirt) with his students

And these are the students today from the same institution, albeit being accorded university status.

How times have changed.