S’porean one mom of 3 juggled parenting, comprehensive-time perform & learning so she could improve herself – Mothership.SG

Lisa R. Parker

In 2014, Anees Fathima D/O Mohamed Asana Labai returned to Singapore with her lifestyle seemingly in tatters.&#13

The then-36-calendar year-previous mother of 3 had just invested the previous 3 a long time functioning in Timor Leste prior to the need to settle divorce proceedings brought her back home.&#13

“I reported, ‘okay, though this is likely on I require a diversion’,” she advised Mothership.&#13

“So I took up scientific tests.”&#13

Up to that point, Anees’ maximum qualification — schooling-wise — was a private diploma she stopped finding out when she got married at 25.&#13

Going back to faculty, she spelled out, would allow her to focus her heart and thoughts on a little something other than her complicated conditions.&#13

“It gave me clarity on what I needed likely ahead.”

Just before very long, Anees experienced enrolled to study at Kaplan in Singapore. Just after earning a diploma in Organization and Law, she uncovered herself presented with an option to go after a lifelong desire — sit for an undergraduate degree.&#13

By 2016, Anees was furthering her scientific tests with Murdoch College at Kaplan in which she pursued a Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Administration and Enterprise Regulation.&#13

Obtained heaps of assistance

But how did the solitary mom balance the raising of her kids — at the time aged 8, 12, and 14 — with holding down a comprehensive-time job as a individual assistant to the chairman of an offshore oil and gasoline enterprise AND researching component-time?&#13

Lots of assistance, defined Anees.&#13

Firstly, Anees’ employers ended up a lot more than happy to give her the time she desired to study.&#13

“The business didn’t originally have analyze leaves in place,” claimed Anees.&#13

“But when I started undertaking my degree, the will need was there.”

Anees worked with her boss to set together a proposal for workers to be granted time off to further their studies which was sooner or later recognized by the company’s administration.&#13

This she explained to me arrived in especially useful for the duration of the exam season when she could use the review leave to revise.&#13

Kaplan in Singapore’s campus. Photo via Kaplan Singapore / FB.

Cherished getting in a college setting

Of study course, that did not mean that Anees experienced it effortless. She recalled pretty much “running to faculty, consuming on the way,” immediately after knocking off from perform on countless times.&#13

Why didn’t she do what numerous functioning older people might see as the simpler selection? To just do programs on line?&#13

“You may say I’m aged university,” she replied.&#13

“I desired the school surroundings. I needed that come to feel of going to college, of currently being there, executing my scientific studies, doing work with my classmates, carrying out projects and asking queries to the lecturer.”

And that is why, getting carried out her research, Anees made a decision that Murdoch University produced the most sense for her. The pedagogy at the college involved actual physical lectures as effectively as on-line programmes.&#13

Most of all, as Anees explained: “it’s a pretty conducive setting plus quite interactive.”&#13

When some might see having to show up at in-person lectures as a chore, Anees said it in fact presented the enthusiasm to preserve the program, not in the least because of the buddies she created together the way.&#13

Finding out with her princess

A single distinct classmate (referred to as HL), whom Anees achieved in the to start with calendar year of university, swiftly turned a mainstay in her lifetime.&#13

The pair were being inseparable regardless of their age distinction, HL currently being in her late-twenties.&#13

“The minute we obtained shut, we made certain that most of the modules we took have been jointly. We examined out collectively, you know like she’ll appear above to my household on weekends. During tests we’d review in university, spending a lot of several hours together.”

HL, or “princess” as Anees affectionately phone calls her, was also a source of encouragement when the latter required it.&#13

There were being also the lecturers, who Anees described as generous with their time and always ready to reveal challenging concepts even outside of the classroom.&#13

“These are the sort of people today that truly shook me up and brightened my day. The classmates that I experienced, and the lecturers that I had, (they ended up) unbelievable.&#13

I’m not positive if (the exact) happens in each natural environment that very same way, but it unquestionably occurred for me at Murdoch.”

“These moments in my everyday living, I will never ever forget”

Yet potentially the single major inspiration for Anees was her children, who confirmed support by means of heartening displays of affection.&#13

The little ones, Anees stated, would convey to any person who listened that their mum was going to university. All of the three children’s lecturers, for example, had been mindful of Anees’ educational pursuits.&#13

Inevitably, with all she experienced heading on, the mom of a few located herself with a lot less time to invest with her youngsters birthday functions were being in some cases postponed to make way for school assignments and exams.&#13

In addition, operating in the working day and learning at night time meant that it was usually earlier midnight by the time Anees would get house.&#13

Still, in her own text: “They have trapped through a lot of highs and lows with me.”&#13

“My sons would constantly get ready a meal and leave it on the kitchen area table for me,” she said.&#13

On specific instances, such as Valentine’s Working day, they’d also wait up to have a minor celebration with their mum.&#13

“These moments in my lifetime, I will hardly ever be ready to ignore them.&#13

I’m really extremely blessed, they are really supportive.”

Anees and her kids. Picture courtesy of Anees Fathima D/O Mohamed Asana Labai

What’s subsequent?

In January this calendar year, Anees graduated from Murdoch University with her bachelor’s degree.&#13

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a actual physical graduation ceremony had to be named off, however the 42-12 months-aged is continue to hoping that a person will be organised the moment issues get superior — she told me that she seriously preferred to savour the event with her children.&#13

Anees stated that she was psyched to implement the understanding she’d picked up in the course of the study course of her scientific studies, and had presently pinpointed some places the place she could make improvements to function procedures.&#13

When we asked Anees, what else she had prepared for the upcoming, the daily life-very long finding out evangelist needed no time to assume:&#13

“I’m organizing to do my masters.”


Stories of Us is a sequence about normal people in Singapore and the distinctive approaches they are residing their lives. Be it breaking away from conventions, pursuing an atypical enthusiasm, or the struggles they are going through, these stories remind us both of those of our personal uniqueness and our collective humanity.


Top graphic courtesy of Anees Fathima D/O Mohamed Asana Labai and from Sharon McCutcheon through Unsplash.

If you, like Anees, would like to improve on your own, you can uncover out much more about Murdoch University’s programs and pedagogy by attending their university good. Locate additional data here.

Interviewing Anees for this Kaplan-sponsored article built the author go: “wow”.

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