June 16, 2017
Kuala Lumpur: THERE is a quiet revolution taking place in the Malaysian education system, with the Chinese medium schools running the risk of being left behind.
The revolution that is taking place to rejig, the nation’s tired education system is called International Baccalaureate (IB).
The IB education is one that is generally alien to the Chinese medium schools, but according to School Advisor, some of the country’s most prestigious Malay institutions of learning have started to use IB as their education module of choice.
Among the elite institutions of learning that has embraced IB, according to school advisor are the Royal Military College, the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and the Tunku Kurshiah College. These are the cream of the country’s national schools, but the government has not stopped there, as they are bringing IB to even the down line schools.
According to the News Straits Times, in an article published on September 19, last year, four more secondary schools in Malaysia have received the International Baccalaureate World School certification from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for the middle years programme. The four schools are SMK Sungai Tapang in Samarahan, Sarawak; SMK Putrajaya Precint 9(2) in Putrajaya; SMK Pantai in Labuan; and Alor Star’s SMK Sultanah Bahiyah.
The report, also quoted Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid as saying the recognition given to the schools proved that the schools were able to produce students with high thinking skills, as well as students who are creative and innovative, meeting international standards. Mahdzir added the schools will serve as a benchmark for the ministry to implement curriculum and evaluation which are recognised globally.
“We hope to see improvements in the quality of our education. The middle years programme International Baccalaureate is an effort by us to produce independent leaner capability among students,” he said in his speech in a ceremony to present certificates of recognition to the schools.
So if the government is on its way, of overhauling its education system, to fully embrace IB, the response from the Chinese schools have been largely muted and puzzling.
However, an international school, which has its roots in Kuala Lumpur, has kick started a small revolution itself, by leading the way to bring IB education system to the Chinese community and into the Chinese medium schools.
The school concerned is Fairview International School, the country’s largest IB education provider.
Apart from having a branch in Kuala Lumpur, Fairview also has a network of IB schools in Ipoh, Penang, Johor and in Subang Jaya. Fairview also owns University College Fairview, which is the only institution in South East Asia, which has the approval by the IBO, to train teachers in the IBO methodology.
One of the strong points of Fairview International School in its ability to connect with the Chinese schools is that even today Mandarin is a compulsory subject in the school.
Mind you, there are more than 60 different nationalities studying in Fairview, and they have all embraced the importance of Mandarin, as the language of commerce in the 21st century. They have done this whole heartedly, which has enabled the school with more than 60 nationalities, to achieve test scores above that of the global average for the IB Diploma Programme.
At Fairview, your child will be able to go for school outings outside, Malaysia, to places such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Singapore and even Indonesia. These school outings are centered on bringing real life education to your children. They will be able to, to practice what they have used in the classroom in a real life environment.
These expeditions, also seek to install the scene of independence, and responsibility in your children, as they will be able to interact with people of all walks of life. Furthermore, these expeditions will also help sharpen your children’s enquiry based learning capabilities. But Fairview is not about all work and no play.
It has a world renowned music programme that will allow your child to learn music, to play music as a soloist as well as in a group.
So how good is Fairview’s music programme? Well recently, the globally respected ABRSM picked Fairview to be the first school outside the UK, to use its music medals curricular.
Formed in 1978, Fairview International School (FIS) is the country’s largest International Baccalaureate (IB) education provider in Malaysia. Our network of 5 IB schools stretches from Kuala Lumpur to Johor in the South and as far as Penang in the North of Peninsular Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur campus offers the IB programmes from the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP) under ONE ROOF.
University College Fairview (UCF) is the FIRST IB certified educational institution in South East Asia that is allowed to train IB teachers in the standards set by the Geneva based International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).
For further information, please call Jovelle (03-41420888) or e-mail at [email protected]