How is 2016 is different for SMK Convent Sentul? The beginning of the year saw the breaking of the wall between church and the school. That empowered SMK Convent Sentul to walk through the corridors not walked upon for many years.
This year we are also officially one of the 300 pilot schools selected for the DLP – Dual Language Program. This is a program where Mathematics and Science subjects in Form 1 are taught and tested in English. The year 2016 is also the year where the Mathematics department was asked to conduct extra classes for Form 1 and Form 2 students every Tuesday to build up their weak foundations in Mathematics concepts.
Many of our students had learned Mathematics and Science in Bahasa Malaysia in their primary schools for several years. Suddenly in Form One,they have to make the drastic transition to learn it in English. During the first 2 weeks of the school term in January, I observed many Mathematics and Science teachers in action to gauge their proficiency in teaching the subjects in English. We soon realized we had to work very hard to improve the students' proficiency in English , Science and Mathematics.
We had another major issue. One of our Mathematics teachers was transferred in March and another excellent Science teacher received approval for a 2 year long no pay leave from teaching. At the time of writing, the school is still short of teachers. The situation was very challenging!
During our first board of Governors’ meeting, I mentioned our critical lack of teachers in the 3 key subjects. It was an SOS call for help! Soon after, Ms Tai Yoke Lin, Alumni - member of the Board of Governors called for a meeting with our English teachers to assess the situation and to see how she could help us. Madam Manmeet from the English department drafted out an advertisement for volunteers and others to help us with the situation.
|Ms Tai Yoke Lin - member of the Board of Governors.|
We are very grateful the Alumni responded very quickly and sent out the advertisement to their circle of contacts. Over the next 4 days they received many calls. I interviewed several who were willing to volunteer teaching without payment. One highly qualified volunteer -Ms Susan Phillips with a Masters in Special Education soon began English lessons with our weak Form 1 girls. Madam Awatif the Head of Department and Ms Ainil organized the Form 1 students so they could be taught in the morning before their official lessons began in the afternoon session.
|Ms Susan Philips, our highly qualified volunteer|
Ms Tai Yoke Lin also encouraged us to garner the help of our stronger students in Form 2 to volunteer and peer coach the weaker Form 1 girls in Mathematics. Ms Nur Anis who had been holding the fort teaching the extra Mathematics classes was immensely grateful and encouraged when more than 10 Form 2 students volunteered to help her coach the weaker Form 1 classes. Madam Fitri the head of the Mathematics department and Madam Sarimah the Guru Kanan, of the Mathematics and Science and several Mathematics teachers also pitched in to help to build the girls' foundation in Mathematics. The alumni and the PIBG (PTA) jointly provided some funds to employ a young doctor awaiting posting to help us coach the girls.
I am so happy to see the impact these extra classes have made. The girls particularly those in the weaker classes have improved by leaps and bounds when we compared their results from the first monthly test to the recent mid-year examination both for English and Mathematics. It is a strong testimony that hard work brings in results. Bravo! Ms Tai Yoke Lin, Ms Susan Philips, Madam Awatif , Ms Ainil and Madam Manmeet. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you for making an impact in the students competency. Bravo, Ms Anis and the Maths department for soldiering on even though the Mathemathics department was short of teachers.
|Cik Nur Anis worked quietly but with great dedication together |
with the Mathematics department teachers to coach the Form 1 and 2 girls
during extra classes every Tuesday,
|Our Form 2 volunteers showed excellent improvement.|
Another person who have made a great impact to encourage me, the teachers and students is Mr. Sugumaran. He contributes regularly to help 5 needy girls and makes it a point to talk to them . He has also visited these girls and their families at their homes. I know the sacrifice of his funds, time and energy will encourage the girls to make a difference both now and in the future.
Mr Sugumaran also gave to the teachers yummy chocolates and pens for Teachers Day. His gifts are always beautifully and thoughtfully packaged. The sight and fragrance of the flowers is a source of joy for the teachers and encourages them to go about their challenging tasks.
|Mr Sugumaran presented the school with a |
beautiful bouquet of roses and chocolates for every teacher.
|Mr Sugumaran and his wife Madam Jayashree |
thoughtfully put the pens for the teachers
in a very pretty sunflower theme bag.
|Presenting the sunflowerbag with the pens for the teachers |
to Madam Fitriyanti, the Staff Club President for 2016
on behalf of Mr Sugumaran on Teachers' Day
Altough the school had been running MAD (Make a Difference programs ) for 6 years, we do it only for the Form 5 and Form 3 students since they faced the public examinations then. Mr. Sugumaran told us he wanted it to be done for every form. The very last Monday before the Raya break, Mr Sugumaran presented the angpows to 12 girls from each form ( 12 x 5 = 60 girls ) who made a difference in their academic results under our MAD Program. He also addressed the girls at the morning assembly and challenged them to work hard and to give sacrificially. It was a very good ending to the week before the Hari Raya Break
|Mr Sugumaran smiles together with the beaming faces of girls |
who had made a difference (MAD ). The angpows are his personal contribution.
Even though the rest of the school had officially begun their Hari Raya break from 1st July, Ms Munimal took our girls for the state level Bahasa Tamil competitions on Saturday, 2nd July 2016. We were very happy when 2 of our girls emerged champions in the state level writing competition. They will be training for the national level competition in July. This win was also a be-early birthday present for Ms Muniamal who celebrated her birthday on July 3rd. I am very thankful I have teachers like Ms Munimal and many others who are willing to work even during the holiday season.
|Ms Munimal and the Bahasa Tamil girls posing |
with the trophies won at state level.
Thank you to all who have made that impact and help us to be mad about making a difference. You can make a difference and be MAD. Help from within and help from outside. Hmmm... That breaking down of the walls between the school and the church have led to closer ties between our school and those who loved us from outside. May the school become closer and closer to the community that loves her.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all our Muslim students, parents,teachers, staff and well wishers. Happy holidays. Happy holidays to all of us.