Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reflections on 2014

December has already descended on us. 2014 has flown by so swiftly. 2014 has been an extremely busy year for the school so much so I did not have time to post many events . But I must make time before the year ends and post the many meaningful events that happen even if they are not posted  in chronological order.

One pioneering program the school started this year was the home visitation program. I have this habit of visiting students' home from my times as a form teacher in SMK Padang Tembak. I found home visits to be helpful in building links with my students and in assuring their families we ( the school and the home ) can  work together for the good of the students.

In my stint as principal of  SMK Convent Sentul, I have visited over 20 homes.  This year  I visited more than 7 students, some by myself  and one memorable visit was together with Pn Rose Saadiah - the chairman of the PIBG. When I asked the statistics of my teachers visiting students, I found their statistics dismal. It took some  time and energy to challenge my teachers to make time to visit students who needed attention. When they started visiting the homes, they became enthusiastic about the positive results gained from the visits.

All in all, the afternoon session teachers have visited 21 homes whilst the morning teachers have visited 17 2014.  I am extremely proud of my teachers for rising up to the challenge and for caring enough to visit the homes.

Cik Anis and Pn Norazlina visits and met 
with the father and the student Darshanashree
 from 2 Mawar

Cik Hamidah and Pn Haizan visits and 
encourage the mother of student 
Nurul Ain Fatihah from 2 Mawar

Ustazah Zulita, En Mazwan and En Azmizi visit and 
met the father of a student Anushka Natasha 
from 1 Cempaka

Pn Azemah visit the student and met with her mother
Pn Zuraima visit Lajwanti from 2 K 
and finds out more about the family.

En Jamal and Pn Zainon, PIBG Committee members
and husband and wife team visited student

We were very encouraged when PIBG committee members En Jamal and Pn Zainon joined forces with the teachers and helped visited the homes. Datin Cheam and Pn Wang took time to visit a student on a public holiday due to a crisis call we received there were many  positive outcomes  from the home visits.  The parents realized the teachers really cared about their children. The teachers understood the home situation and the problems faced by the students. Parents and students became more cooperative.

In one particular home, the teacher realized there was no furniture in the whole house. This teacher quickly alerted us of the needy situation. When we reported this during a board meeting, Mr Lee Geok Ai, chairman of the Board of Governors immediately sponsored RM1,4000/- of his own personal funds  to buy a set of sofa and coffee table for the family in time for the festive season. Pn Rose Saadiah  followed up with another visit to the home to ensure the furniture set was sent to the family concerned.

The teachers and the parents selected this furniture set 
which was thens ponsored by by Mr Lee Geok Ai,
 chairman of the Board . The whole process was
 speedily done so that the family would have
 the furniture set in time for their festive occasion.


I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my wonderful teachers and administrators who took time out from their busy schedules to visit the students home. I also want to thank PIBG members and YDP Pn Rose for sharing the load with us and for Mr Lee's immediate and generous sponsorship. May God richly reward you for your labours. Thank you

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Technology aided learning in and out of class. .

A dream realized

This is a  dream realized! Long ago, I had dreams of a time in space where students could freely use the computer and access the internet in and out of class to facilitate learning. We started this style of learning when  30 brand new desktops were installed in our ICT lab in September 2011. We also installed several LCD projectors in strategic rooms. But never in my wildest dreams, did I  envisage Chromebooks to be used in place of computer desktops for learning. But here it is today, 80 Chromebooks were supplied by YTL Frogasia to SMK Convent Sentul. They opened a whole new world of learning for teachers and students through the FrogVLE.   

5 Anggerik 2014 during their Biology class in August.

These Chromebooks are portable and can be brought to class or to the labs. The 80 units means each student can interact one on one with the Chromebook.The image above shows students who are so totally engaged in their Biology lesson facilitated by Pn Fitri Yanti. They are eagerly and happily surfing for information  on the topic "Meiosis and mitosis" using their Chromebooks.   They interact actively with one another and the computer to digest the information on their screens. This is active and student centered learning!

Learning about mitosis and meiosis on the Chromebook

5 Anggerik 2014  students showing their
unmistakable joy at using the Chromebooks

What's the impact of using computer aided learning? You see happy smiles from the girls and learning is at their pace. The more important element - they are actively involved and understand more better. They can learn during class time as well as out of class time.

Jivanesh and Sor Wei Peng demonstrating their use of the
Chromebooksduring the opening launch of CLIC in UTC Sentul

We also had the joy of witnessing  5  Form 2 girls selected to demonstrate their use of the Chromebooks during the launch of the CLIC ( Creative Learning IT Center ) in UTC Sentul to important guests. The afternoon session teachers and students are extremely proactive in the use of Chromebooks due to En Mazwan and En Azmizi providing the strong technological support needed

Collaborative learning using the Chromebook
Form 2 girls Septemeber 2014.

The sites on Frog VLE. The orange site shows the
the Physics projects.done by 5 Bakawali 2014 students  
The previous batch of Physics students had posted nice work on Physics projects they researched on. So to avoid mixing up the work of this year batch of work from 5 Bakawali 2014, I created a new site specially for them so they could review one another's work and share it with each other. The image below show some of their work which had been uploaded and shared. I enjoyed their creativity especially in their selection of the Youtube movies.

Students can review their friends's work after class hours. These lessons
come with interesting and appropriate Youtube movies

Last year I started a Whatapps group called "Anak Physics." I had students from as far as Subang and Puchong and IB students from private schools as well as our students in this group. Different members would pose videos and questions  on Physics and the active discourse that went on indicate the intellectual activity of the group members in different ways.

We had posted a question  on boiling point.
This was one of the responses from a member to
help the rest understand the animated  discussion
on effects of air pressure boiling point.

Some students could not sleep peacefully until they
fully understood. The joy of the students.
This discussion went on till close to midnight

Some one had posted the answer. A member asked why
the answer was not B.Another member helpfully explained. This
helped the one who understood to articulate her answer clearly
while others who dare not asked also got. the questions and the
answers. All these were done out of class .
Note the time 11.29 pm

The learning skills needed for the 21st century are technology savviness, team work culture  and bilingual language skills.  I hope to see more and more innovative ideas on computer aided learning taking place among students, teachers , parents and administrators. Can we move together in this direction? It will be another dream come true

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 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