She's 57, but earns diploma to coach grandkids

She's 57, but earns diploma to coach grandkids

SINGAPORE - She is a 57-year-old grandmother of three, but that did not stop Madam Yuspiah Basir from going back to school two years ago.

Her three young grandchildren were exactly the reasons she decided to become a student again, after a hiatus of about 40 years.

"My three daughters are grown up and have their own careers. And even though my eldest is a teacher, she is often busy teaching other kids.

"I thought I should jump in and be involved in my grandchildren's learning processes and growing-up years," says Madam Yuspiah, whose grandchildren are between three and eight years old.

After attending evening classes for a good eight months while juggling a day job, the employee with Singapore Airlines graduated with a diploma in educational studies.

During the hour-long interview, she shows me her certificates, her face shining with pride.

Over about eight months, she completed modules at GIG Education Centre at Eunos, in subjects like English grammar, phonetics and creative thinking and she earned a diploma issued by the University of Cambridge's College of Teachers.

It wasn't easy, Madam Yuspiah says.

"Most of my classmates were people in their 30s, aspiring to teach as a career.

"I felt quite shy at first. I dressed to the nines and didn't want to reveal my age," she says with a hearty laugh.

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