Ms Liaw Lay Kian spent 16 years caring for her bed-bound father-in-law, who passed away; and 10 months for her husband who was fighting cancer but succumbed. She was 50, and at a crossroad. What should she do? She faced this with great courage. Undaunted, she thought she would go back to school to study, so that she could help more people.

She was concerned that she would be rejected because of her age. To her surprise, ITE responded to her within 3 hours! The last time she had sat for any major exam was back in 1979. Could she cope?

Two years ago, I invited Ms Liaw to our MOE Work Plan Seminar, to share her spirit of resilience. This week, I was delighted to hand her the Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal for her outstanding performance in her nursing course at ITE – she graduated with an almost perfect GPA of 3.94 at the age of 52! When I asked her how it felt to be in a school with students one third her age, she smiled and said she felt like one of them

Ms Liaw shows how, with grit and determination, we can achieve greater heights and that age is no barrier. And she was motivated to help others, especially to care for the sick and dying. What an inspiration!
By the way, Ms Liaw also scored 2 Gold Medals in the NAPFA fitness test, so don’t try to race with her!

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