Having produced numerous computer engineers and computer software engineers during his tenure as computer teacher in SMK St Michael here, Aw Koon Lum had a reason to retire with contentment and a sense of fulfillment. He taught in SMI for 19 years.He believes that good teachers should impart skills and knowledge to their students so that they can develop their potentials to the fullest.
Armed with this ideal in his teaching methodology, Aw had managed to produce students who took up computer-related courses in universities and colleges who later graduated to become professionals.
After finishing his sixth form in 1971, Aw was accepted to the Malaya Teaching College where he was trained as a teacher. He was posted to Tumpat, Kelantan in 1974 after obtaining his teaching certificate.
Five years later, Aw was transferred to Kota Baru in Kelantan before being posted to Perak in 1984, teaching in a small school in Manong, near Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
In 1988, he was transferred to SMK St Michael Ipoh, his last port of call, after obtaining his off-campus degree in physics and science from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Aw, 56, said students nowadays are a fortunate lot as computer technology has advanced so much compared to the time when he first started teaching the subject.He said computers of yesteryears were draggy, loud and unable to process a lot of things which we can do today. "During those days, having an NEC 286 computer would have friends running to your house. Students in school during that era were also exposed to the system," he recalled.
Aw, in his parting advice, told the students to be focussed in whatever they do and have long term plans to achieve their ambitions. "I have no immediate plan after retirement. What I need now is a well-deserved rest at home," he said.
Aw was given a grand farewell by some 1,500 students and teachers who sang "Auld Lang Syne", accompanied by the school band.
Note: The story of Mr Aw's retirement was also featured in Ipoh Echo, Dec 1, 2007.