In Malaysia, Chinese primary schools have become increasingly popular over the years as a choice of education, with parents citing high academic standards, mastering the Mandarin language and emphasis on discipline and good manners as compelling reasons to send their children to these schools. Even non-Chinese parents are becoming increasingly open to their children receiving their primary education from such schools.
“The new Poi Lam campus at Bandar Baru Sri Klebang, which comprises a preschool, primary and secondary school, has seen a steady increase in student enrollment eversince they moved to the new campus.
The thirteen-acre parcel of land was donated by Kinta Properties. It is lavish compared to our old school in town which was a mere two-acre in size. It did not have a field and both the primary and secondary schools had to share classrooms, so we had morning and afternoon schooling sessions”, explains Mr Foo.
“We are now a single session school with a separate primary and secondary school block complete with ample classrooms, lecture halls, computer labs, recreational halls, a shared football field and athletic track, and carparks. We are also the only primary school in Perak to have a lift in our building!”
The primary school was the first to move to Sri Klebang five years ago, and the secondary school followed suit at the end of 2016. The kindergarten, which opened its doors at the start of 2017 will enable preschoolers to make a smooth transition into formal schooling.
Mr Foo is quick to point out the positive changes he has observed as a result of the move. For one, the ample grounds and facilities have helped enhance their co-curricular programmes, enabling the school to build stronger sports teams. As an example, the primary school girls and boys basketball teams were crowned the overall champions at the Kinta Utara district school games this year. The badminton and table tennis teams have also been winning medals at inter-school games as a result of improved facilities.
“With the bigger space, our children now have more room to learn and grow, and have become happier and motivated learners. We believe that this has also helped them improve in their academic performance,” Mr Foo continues.
His statement is attested by the upward trend in the school’s primary six UPSR results which show an increase in passing rate and full A’s from when they moved in 2012 till the latest results in2016. Mr Foo believes that the new school environment has expanded the learning potential of the students and brought greater confidence to the overall teaching and learning process.
We join the rest of the school community at the Merdeka assembly after the interview. As the throng of students walk in, we notice a good mix of students from different ethnic backgrounds mingling easily with each other. Courteous, cheerful students wish us Zao An (Good Morning) and bow as a sign of respect as they walk past to take their places in the hall.
“Our children’s happy faces say it all!” says Mr Foo, as he gets ready to address a sea of beaming faces. The students stand in rapt attention upon an audio cue, and the hallways soon echo with their robust rendition of the Negaraku.
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