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Cancer stricken teacher who continued to help students during treatment passes away

Ng Su Lan was so dedicated to her students that she led classes every day until the final semester of the 2020 school year ended last year

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A veteran teacher, who continued to teach and help her students without rest despite suffering from cancer, passed away on Saturday (16 Jan).

60-year-old Ng Su Lan was so dedicated to her students that she led classes every day until the final semester of the 2020 school year ended last year. She was so concerned about her students who were facing family problems that she picked up these students and drove them to school herself every morning.

Throughout this time, Mdm Ng was suffering from skin cancer and even had to have three toes amputated. Despite undergoing treatment, the dedicated teacher persevered until her condition worsened sometime this month. She passed away peacefully on Saturday, leaving behind her husband, only daughter and two grandchildren.

Mdm Ong’s daughter Genevieve Huang Shi Ling told the Chinese daily that her mother was a teacher for three decades.

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She began her teaching career in the 1980s and taught at a Catholic primary school before transferring to Marymount Convent School, where she served as director of the school’s Sports Department for about 20 years aside from teaching Mathematics and English.

Mdm Ng was diagnosed with skin cancer two years ago. In August 2018, she found a mole on the sole of her right foot and was subsequently diagnosed with skin cancer. Due to the spread of cancer, doctors had to amputate three toes from Mdm Ng’s right foot.

Ms Huang said that her mother remained undiscouraged by her cancer diagnosis and stayed focused on helping her students. She said, “After her three-month sick leave ended, she immediately went back to teach and won the admiration of many colleagues. Everyone called her the ‘Iron Lady’.”

Mdm Ng’s condition seemed to improve in early 2019 but worsened a few months later. Despite needing further treatment, the devoted teacher insisted on going to school to teach her pupils.

Revealing that her mother was particularly concerned about students facing family problems, Ms Huang revealed that Mdm Ng took extra care of these student even while she was undergoing cancer treatment:

“She bought biscuits and Milo out of her pocket and gave them breakfast. In order to help students who skipped class frequently, she would drive them to school in the morning and even send an alarm clock to wake them up on time.”

In 2020, Mdm Ng’s condition worsened even further but she was determined to keep teaching her students. She refused to quit teaching until the final semester of the year and witnessed her last batch of students successfully complete the Primary School Leaving Examination.

Mdm Ng was moved to a hospice centre last month as her condition became worse. Revealing that many of her former students came down to see Mdm Ng and thanked her for her selfless dedication, her daughter said: “She dedicated her life to teaching and lived a fulfilling life.”

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