Twenty eight years ago, Mr Kaneson s/o Machapu forwent the opportunity of a university education, to take care of his family’s financial needs and his elderly parents. At the time, he saw this as the end of his education journey. But now aged 49, he is one of the few senior graduands from NUS this year, graduating with a Bachelor of Technology (Chemical Engineering) with Honours (Distinction).
When he previously put this dream on hold, almost three decades ago, Mr Kaneson M began work as a Technical Officer at Jurong Power Station. He later joined Tuas Power Generation where he worked his way up to become a Deputy Manager. Even though his family’s financial conditions had improved greatly through his hard work, Mr Kaneson M only considered revisiting his academic ambitions after the passing of both his parents in 2014.
In 2015, Mr Kaneson M approached his senior management at Tuas Power Generation on his thoughts of undertaking a degree in Chemical Engineering. They agreed, and he received financial support via Tuas Power’s Staff Education Grant to enrol in the degree programme at NUS Engineering.
Throughout his four years at NUS, Mr Kaneson M had to juggle work, studies and family. Attending night classes every other day meant that he could not spend his evenings with his family. He also dedicated most of his lunch hours to tutorials and revision to sufficiently prepare for exams.
Achieving his goal of 28 years, Mr Kaneson M said, “The journey was a challenging but fulfilling one. My time at NUS has imparted me not just with knowledge, but also the important values of pride and professionalism often demonstrated by the dedicated NUS teaching staff. Such values are recognised in my office, and I hope to also instil them in my children and society at large.”
He added that the knowledge he acquired from the NUS degree programme has helped him perform better at work, equipping him with the expertise to better manage work processes and improve efficiency.
As a father of two, experiencing university life also gave Mr Kaneson M invaluable insights for later parenting. “Having gone through it myself, I now have an accurate understanding of the level of academic stress students face. This will help me in coaching and supporting my children in their pursuit of education in future,” he explained. “Working with the younger classmates in school also helped me better appreciate the lifestyles, hobbies and mindsets of today’s youth.”
Mr Kaneson M enjoys teaching and sharing his knowledge. He often conveys what he learnt in school with his colleagues, to enhance his team’s operational efficiency and to motivate them to read and learn new things. To other adult learners who may be hesitant about furthering their education because of age, Mr Kaneson M’s advice is, “Do not let fear stop you. Your pursuit of education is going to be a worthwhile investment for yourself and your family”.