Probably you have heard about the story of the Choluteca Bridge in Honduras. It is a suspension bridge that was built in 1996 to withstand the extreme weather of the region which is notorious for storms and hurricanes.

Opened to the public in 1998, the bridge that spanned 300 metres over Choluteca River is considered one of the greatest works of architecture in the country. When Hurricane Mitch hit the country the same year, it brought untold damage to the region while thousands lost their lives.

The bridge that was built to last lived up to its purpose, remaining intact despite the pounding rain and strong wind. But what everyone did not expect was for the river to change its course. Instead of running under the bridge, the river now flowed beside the bridge. The mighty Choluteca bridge is now a bridge to nowhere.

The lesson from this is more relevant to us today than ever before. The bridge is an excellent metaphor for the constant change we are facing. Change is inevitable but what’s more important is our ability to adapt. The Covid-19 pandemic that the world is facing has forced us to adapt to new norms. Putting on a face mask in public, social distancing, hand washing and sanitising are the new norms that we have to adapt to.

The pandemic has also transformed teaching and learning through digital platforms. Students have to get used to studying online while teachers are forced to use virtual platforms to teach.

All these require us to adapt. Covid-19 is a game-changer that forces us to make changes to our lives and daily routines. It is difficult to predict what the future holds post-Covid-19, but for the country to prosper and progress in these challenging times, we need to be resilient and brave enough to explore new things.

At OUM, one of the new things we are exploring is a breezy approach to learning that involves no entry requirements and minimal fee payments. You choose your subjects of interest and only pay for what you learn, but you can obtain course certificates and accumulate credits that will count towards actual registration later on. If you choose to enrol, you can reduce your study duration and save even more.

This novel approach is known as Coursetrac OUM. At this introductory phase, you can sign up for diploma courses at RM250, and for bachelor’s degree courses at RM350. Coursetrac OUM is our way to give you a chance to learn something new while also guiding you towards better adapting to these changing and challenging times.

In future, it requires more than just hard work to achieve success. Those who are brave enough to build bridges over unchartered waters will most likely triumph.

PROF DATO’ DR MANSOR FADZIL

President/Vice-Chancellor