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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine S. H. Ong 's visit

28th August 2014 was a special day for us in SMK Convent Sentul. We were blessed and honoured to have Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine Soon Hock Ong visit the school to interact with the PACE students, teachers, and administrators. Tan Sri Augustine is the chairman of The Edge Education Foundation (TEEF)  Ms Dorothy Teoh, the CEO of the TEEF spearheads the PACE Program  and runs it together with our teachers and EY( Ernst & Young)  mentors , Taylors University. The PACE program is sponsored by KLK.

Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine S. H. Ong 

Tan Sri Augustine presented the cash gifts and certificates to the PACE students under the EY business program “Trash to Cash.” The cash gifts were immediately used to open saving accounts with BSN. A short presentation on the benefits of saving accounts was delivered by Yoke Pei Ong of the TEEF.


Using their cash gifts to open BSN accounts 

Pn Mariam of EY spoke to the PACE students and reminded them of their journey on the “Trash to Cash” program.  Lae-Hoon Tan and other EY officials were on hand to interact with Tan Sri Augustine Ong. Ms Dorothy Teoh introduced Tan Sri and his outstanding background as a scientist, as Professor Emeritus and his position as founder President of MINDS of the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS). 


The PACE program teachers, students, TEEF, EY
and school administrators happily posing with Tan Sri Augustine Ong.
Our students show the passbooks they have received
after they opened their BSN accounts.


Tan Sri spoke at length to the PACE girls. He encouraged them to work hard for success. He also spoke of his role in creating awareness of the health benefits of palm oil. He mentioned the struggles of the battle he faced to educate the world on this aspect. Tan Sri also spoke of how Malaysian inventors for example Pua Khein-Seng who invented the pen drive which is now used worldwide. He declared that Malaysia was able to deliver on innovations that could change the world. He encouraged our students and teachers to think out of the box.


It had not been easy for Tan Sri Augustine to achieve his titles and success.   He comes from a humble background and was  an orphan in his early age. He grew up with his paternal grandmother in a small rubber plantation in Malacca. Later he was admitted to a boarding school (St. Francis Institution) in Malacca (Class of 1952) and did his pre-university education at St. Johns Institution in Kuala Lumpur. He has benefited much from his education in the La Sallian  schools. His background and his determination to succeed despite all odds are indeed very inspiring. It is this that has motivated him to continue to help the disadvantaged and in our school to help through the PACE program.

At the tertiary level, he entered University of Malaya (UM) in 1954 and graduated with 1st class honors in Chemistry winning the memorial gold medal in chemistry 1958, recommended by Lord Todd, Nobel Laureate in chemistry, University of Cambridge as the external examiner. He pursued his post-graduate research at University of London, Kings College under the supervision of Prof. D.H Hey FRS.


He continued his post-graduate training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Fulbright-Hays fellow. A few years later, he spent a year at the Dyson Perrins LaboratoryUniversity of Oxford as a visiting professor working in collaboration with Professor W.A. Waters.


The PACE girls practiced two short plays as part of their English lesson. There were happy faces on teachers ,students and mentors when we heard and saw how well they have progressed through the way they spoke and articulated.

Waiting for their turn to speak in the play

Tan Sri Augustine enjoys good health and is extremely articulate and mentally agile.  During our simple lunch, he finished every bit of food I placed on his plate. He is truly an inspiring example for us all to follow – in health, mental and social graces. 

The adminstrators poses  with Tan Sri Augustine Ong showing
the book on MINDS he has presented to our school

Monday, April 14, 2014

PACE Program with EY mentors

Handmade bookmark recycled from used cards

PACE PROGRAM  2014

PACE is the acronym for Program After Class Enrichment, a tuition cum mentoring project launched by The Edge Education Foundation in April 2013. This project is spearheaded and coordinated by Ms Dorothy Teoh, the CEO of the Edge Education Foundation. The sponsor for PACE at SMK Convent Sentul is Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd which will support the program for 3 years. The Edge Education Foundation is partnering EY (Ernst & Young) and Taylor's University to carry out PACE at the school. This year, mentors from EY are helping our girls acquire financial literacy and simple entrepreneurial skills for life.

Our PACE girls are being mentored by 12 kind EY executives since February 2014 for 5 weeks. There are two parts to the program;  firstly a business project and  secondly a recycling program entitled Trash to CashUltimately, both the recycling project and the business project aim to raise enough money for the students to open their own savings account. 

    In the business project, the EY mentors teach the students entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills. The business project's objective is that  the students learn how to operate a business in the simplest form. They are taught to make products and sell their handmade products for a profit. Under the careful guidance of the EY mentors led by Pn Siti Mariam and Madam Lae-Hoon Tan,  our Pace girls have produced over 340 beautiful handmade bookmarks and key chains! 

·    The "Trash to Cash" project is the recycling project where we collect old newspapers and old boxes  to sell.  The newspapers  collected came to a cool 330 kg which was sold for RM 99.00 on  28th  March 2014 . Amazing! 


·  
Enthralled by the possibilities of what could be made.
Mentor: Lea Ling Tan


Can I make these?


This is what you should do
Mentor:  Saidah Bebe Mohammad


Let me show you how it's done
Mentor: Seven Jeyaramamoorthy

This is how you should do it.
Mentor: Katy Kng


I made these paperclips!


Interesting paper clips


Colourful ice cream stick book marks


Happy  ice cream stick and flower book mark



Presenting what we made
Katy Kng is very excited by her group's efforts.



The joy of working with our hands

Puan Siti Mariam Mohamed Iqbal 
educating our girls on how to price their products.



Insect thread key chain

Sew and paste.


Pretty felt toys key chains

The proceeds from the sale of these items will be used to help our PACE girls open bank accounts.  Do help us purchase these delightful handmade items.

We thank the 12 dedicated EY mentors who have come faithfully each week with loads of materials, boundless energy and precious time to help train our girls make the delightful products under their close supervision and to change trash to cash! . These kind mentors are Arina KokKaty Kng Lea Ling Tan, Linda Lim ,Rajeswari RamasamySaidah Bebe MohammadSeven Jeyaramamoorthy,Shalini Sathiyasiva, Stephanie Shalini Sukumaran , Sumathi Thiagaraja and    Vimalashankar M. Navarathnam.  We also thank Ms Dorothy Teoh, Madam Lae-Hoon Tan  and Pn Siti Mariam Bt Mohamed Iqbal  for the willing and cheerful sacrifice of their valuable time, energy, skills and resources. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Your faithfulness and sacrifice have taught the girls more than financial literacy. You have taught them  they have self worth. You have helped them develop self confidence. Your faithfulness is an example they see and understand, particularly for some of them where faithfulness has not been  model to them in the families they have grown up with. You have taught them values for life! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mr Lee Geok Ai's angpows and a Gift of Love

I am using the Chinese New Year holiday season to catch up with my blog posts. PMR 2013 results were announced on 19th December 2013. We did the PMR results release event together with the " A Gift of Love " program organized by the PIBG. Each parent who came to support their child during this event was presented with a carnation beautifully wrapped by Tang Jer Fang, Tan Lay Hun and Alicia Sek under the careful supervision of Mrs Tang. The gift certainly brought many tears of joy to many parents. Thank you, also parents and PIBG for your kind contributions. To me, the best part of the event was witnessing beautiful moments of family bonding as students escorted parents up stage to receive the PMR exam slips together or when their daughter expressed words of thanks for the support given by their parents whilst presenting them with the carnation as a token of appreciation.

Straight As PMR 2013 students posing with their happy parents and us.

Mrs Tang, Tang Jer Fang and friends preparing the
250++ carnations for the the Gift of Love program.
It require about 4x4 = 16 (wo) man hours
 of back breaking hard work

Satisfaction!   It is a great feat to
wrap so many carnations in one day. 


I was also pleasantly surprised and moved to tears when Tang Jer Fang presented me with a beautiful bouquet she personally handmade ( her maiden effort ). SMK Convent Sentul was also honored to receive the award for the 4th place Best Performance in PMR 2013  ( Pencapaian Terbaik ) in the Day school category from the Director of Education of Kuala Lumpur. Thank you teachers for your hard work and parents and all stakeholders for your strong support.


All smiles at the beautiful bouquet
personally handmade by TangJer Fang
and at the excellent exam results she has.

Thank you teachers and parents for
your wonderful support in achieving this.
You have made the difference!

The Gift of Love program was again carried out during the Form 1 Orientation Day for the 2014 academic session on the 28th December 2013  with great success. Jer Fang and her mum prepared the flowers again. The Gift of Love Program was also a great opportunity to teach our new Form 1 girls to say " I love you" to their parents whilst presenting them the flower. On the same day, we also had the PIBG Carnival where a few stalls were set up to raise funds and to interact with the parents. Thank you En Tarmiezi, En Alan and so many others who helped man the stalls and looked into so many details.



Orientation Day flowers were gerberas





En Alan and En Tarmiezi helping with the collection
for the "A Gift of Love" program
flanked by Pn Siti Hasrina, the PIBG SU



Pn Rose and Mr Lee giving the flowers to the new Form 1 girls
so that they would present these flowers to their parents.



Thank you Pn Rose Saadiah YDP PIBG for
spearheading and organizing the "A Gift of Love "program.


Parent touched by the gift of a flower.

A happy mother  receiving the flower from her daughter

On 20th Jan 2014, Mr Lee Geok Ai, the chairman of the Board of Governors graced our school morning assembly once again. This time, it was to present his personal angpows of RM 150/- each to the 21 girls who had straight As and RM 100/- to those who had missed by 1 or 2 As. All in all, Mr Lee presented more than RM 6000/- cash for the excellent students performance. Twin Marketing ( Mr Lee's friend) also gifted us with RM 450/- to give to 3 girls based on their character values of being most helpful, most active and most improved. Twin Marketing also donated another RM5000/- towards the new classrooms fund as well as contributed  RM 100/- monthly each towards 3 needy students. Thank you Twin Marketing.

Mr Lee Geok Ai giving his speech.
The teachers and students behind him can be seen
 clearly paying careful attention to his speech.

Happy recipient of big angpow from Mr Lee.



All As PMR 2013

Excellent students PMR 2013



Character awards PMR 2013 angpows from Twin Marketing
Tang Jer Fang - Most Helpful
Mishalnee  Most Improved
Sara - Most Active


Komal, our school captain presenting Mr Lee
with a  handmade card to express their thanks
 for the new classrooms, the new walkway and other upgrades in the school.


The card from the PMR students

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Ipcos Facade who contributed more than RM 50,000/- towards the construction of the 3 new classrooms. Thanks also to Inta Bina who also generously contributed RM 20,000/- towards the new classrooms. Inta Bina also continued the sponsoring of the needy students program. To date Inta Bina has given more than RM 60,000/- to our school since May 2012. Jeremy of Omni Resources was also very generous in giving to the new classrooms fund and to the needy girls program. Mr Selvaraja of North Soils has been very faithful and generous in continuing his support of RM 100/- monthly for the 3rd year running since 2012 towards twenty needy Indian girls. Mr Selvaraja's support has crossed over RM 72,000/-. Thank you kind gentlemen! We are blessed by your kindness.  I think Father God will award you with His character awards from heaven for your kindness

Monday, January 20, 2014

Major transformations in 6 short weeks of holidays!

This post is long overdue. It should have been written  in  December 2013. But December 2013 was a very hectic period in SMK Convent Sentul, despite it being the year end school holidays. My profuse apologies.

That period was hectic because we were working very hard to get three new classrooms and one new staff room ready for the new academic term in 2014. At the same time, events such as the Holiday Musical program, the Clothes Bank workshop, SPM 2013 exams, teachers transfers etc were taking place concurrently during the school holidays. Many people mistakenly think school holidays are easy lazy, hazy days. Please stand corrected as school holidays is the only period to do major renovations in school without disturbing the pedagogical processes involving teachers and students. However between mid November to 6 December, the contractors would only work on Fridays and weekends since we had to observe silence during the SPM examinations.


To max the holiday period, we persuaded the tenant of the caretaker's house to shift out by mid November so we could have more time. Here she is shown, holding the extra money we paid her to shift out earlier. Father Alan of St Joseph church was very helpful and helped her her out by allowing her to put her furniture in a spare room until she could shift in to her new premise. For old timers of the school, yes, the caretaker's house is no longer there - it has been totally demolished and replaced by 3 beautiful modern classrooms!


This pic shows Mr Lee Geok Ai, our chairman discussing the location of the new classrooms with the contractors. Mr Lee came very often during this period especially during weekends and early in the morning.


When the proposed plans were sent to me, I was very, very pleased. We had hoped for only 1 new classroom, but what was proposed was three modern classrooms."Eyes have not seen nor ears heard what the Lord has prepared" became a reality in the space of 6 short weeks!


The caretaker's house was totally demolished and its bricks used to build the raised platform to cut cost.The surrounding trees were cut down. Many big machines - excavators, cranes and cement mixers were on site to help us race against time. In the following picture, you see the picture of the train passing through in the background. Mr Lee design had to include sound proofing against the frequent trains, heat proofing and various other factors.

See passing train  in background. The  cement is being poured
out by crane and workers level the cement. They worked even during rain!


Slowly but surely the new classrooms took form and structure

.Mr Lee decided to add on more transformations. He also did an entire new covered walkway that led  from the former 5 Mawar classroom in a straight path to the new classrooms instead of the zig zag pattern we used to have.


Of course we also had to do major landscaping to straighten the path. The gardeners and cleaners were kept very busy, uprooting trees that could be replanted.

Students were delighted by the changes taking place.

Meanwhile I had no idea that students were posting on FB on what was been built in the school. Their comments were very encouraging especially in the stretch when we worked very hard. Meanwhile the holiday musical program was carried out over the space of 5 weeks. Our girls received musical training from professional trained pianists in a  NGO INC situated in the nearby Sentul Raya complex.




The two kind pianists who volunteered their services FOC courtesy INC. Their training made a big difference to our girls hearing and pitching. I heard them the first  few session and they could not pitch accuractely. By the time they reached the 5th session, it was sheer delight to hear them sing.
Singing You raise me up
On Dec 2nd 2013,  Dr Cheah Yin Mee, her two sisters and their friends set up the clothes Bank.  Our girls had a field day choosing matching clothes, shoes, belts accessories  and bags. Our girls were beautifully decked from head to toe. Dr Cheah brought in her friend from Singapore to give the girls a professional talk on how to conduct themselves during job interviews. The girls also received an unexpected angpow from Dr Cheah. What a lovely treat!

Filzah and gang choosing clothes


Wei Ning and Ang trying out the clothes for size.


Vinni beautifully decked out.

Dr Cheah handing out angpows

Meanwhile we totally converted the former 4 A classroom into the senior teachers new staff room. We also upgraded, repainted and re-oriented the old staff room to create more space for our dedicated teachers.
The teachers had to pack up their belongings to get ready for the upgrade and the shift into the new rooms.

Packing up to shift



Old cabinets with spoilt doors


New cabinets

The senior teachers new room


The teachers smiling happily in the upgraded.
more spacious old staff room.
Pn Roszam teaching in the new high ceiling, well lit new classroom.
By the way, Mr Lee's friends Ipcos Facade totally sponsored the cost of the framework for the new classrooms. They donated more than RM 50K. Praise God and thank you Ipcos Facade!! Our next job was getting the the school ready with new banners and holistic values for our girls but I will write more about that in the next blog post.


  Now  you know why the holidays was such a hectic period!