Remember Veveonah Mosibin? The University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) foundation student from the Malaysian state of Sabah who spent 24 hours in a tree just so she could get an internet signal to complete her online exams?
Last we heard about Veveonah, her video went viral on Malaysia’s social media and caught the attention of the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Thanks to that, her little village in Pitas, Sabah will be getting a new telecommunication tower to improve connectivity for all students studying from home during the country’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.
And now, there’s even more great news for Veveonah.
She was offered a scholarship from her university.
UMS vice-chancellor Taufiq Yap Yun Hin announced on Facebook that the 19-year-old will be offered a scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree once she completes her current foundation studies in science.
“Veveonah is a smart student and is always proactive in her studies. May (she) be successful in her education. Congrats Veveonah!” he wrote.
She has even been given permission to use university facilities to continue her education.
Other students are also sharing the efforts they go through in order to keep studying during the RMCO period.
Rose, a final year student at University Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Perak, posted on Facebook stating that she was inspired by Veveonah’s method of using a mosquito net while camping outside to study.
In her post, Rose explained that the internet connection in the forest is much better and more stable than at her longhouse area.
“There are a few areas around the village that can be used for better internet access like the hills and the palm plantations,” she explains. “But these areas are not suitable to be visited daily and I have a tight class schedule except for Tuesday and Sunday.”
Similar to Veveonah, Rose helps her family at the farm after finishing her online classes everyday.
Rose also shared that her village is not far from town, but she can’t afford to make trips back and forth due to money constraints and a lack of transportation.
“As a final year student, I really need a good Internet connection to access information for my final year project. I couldn’t access any system like MyGuru, MyUPSI portal, and the UPSI library website.”
She ended her post hoping that authorities would see this post and help students struggling in rural areas to get the Internet connection they need.
But while things are certainly brightening up for Veveonah, what about other Malaysian students in rural areas?
According to Free Malaysia Today, the Sabah State Education Department reported that at least 52 percent of Sabah students do not have easy access to smart devices or the Internet at home.
Internet coverage and dilapidated school conditions also continue to plague school communities, making it difficult for students and teachers in the area.
This author would also like to add that although the state education department does have an online website, it’s outdated and isn’t easy to navigate.
Of course, this is not to say that Veveonah is at fault for anything. Honestly, her resilience in going above and beyond is admirable.