Sunday, March 28, 2010

Feedback on Old Boys Weekend

Some of you might have a doubt on the above title. What the heck is Old Boys Weekend?

For some of us, the old boys had been there. We were there last year on the historic date. The date is 1/8/2009, a day where a group of the old boys came and visit their alma mater. The visit is with a purpose. Not a simply or a common visit or sight seeing tour with reminiscing fond memories. But a visit with an objective to keep the bond of brotherhood and friendship among Michaelians, young and old. Senior and junior. The boys and the old boys.

A journey to boyhood. We came last year and 2 games were held. Football and rugby where both events played on the school field. The feedback and outcome of the event was tremendous and awesome. We received e mail from the old boys who were participated as well as those who were unable to come. They want it again. They want to play a game with their juniors. They want to be there again and once again to be with the school players. They wish to come back again.

This year we are planning to have such similar event with additional games to be held. And this event is called as OLD BOYS WEEKEND, where a weekend for the old boys from all over nations to come back to their alma mater, meeting with their school mates, teachers and students.

We need your feedback for us to arrange and to organize the event. Let us make the OLD BOYS WEEKEND a tradition. A tradition where the old boys will leave everything on that weekend and begin a journey to a boyhood to none other than ST. MICHAEL'S INSTITUTION IPOH.

We have make a poll on the right panel of this blog. Select your suitable dates. The proposal date is not finalized yet and subject to change. Apart from football and rugby, we intend to include badminton and other sports during the OLD BOYS WEEKEND. Give your suggestion and feedback. Let us work together and participate in this year OLD BOYS WEEKEND.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010






Registration Fees: RM200.00 per team
( 10 players per team)

1st: RM250.00 + Medal

2nd: RM200.00 + Medal

3rd: RM150.00 + Medal

SMIOB would like to invite Michaelians from seniors to juniors to compete in the first futsal tournament for the old boys of St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh. A league format competition where two top teams from each group will advance to the knock out stage and stand a chance to be the first team to lifts the title.

Form your own team now!!! Register your team before or on 15th April 2010.

We are also looking for corporate or individual sponsors who would like to sponsor a futsal team or the tournament itself.

If you have any inquiries of the competition and to register your team, do not hesitate to contact our representatives:

Irwan (1998):

Yusmi (1996):

Fazli (1996):

Dzran (1996):

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi

THERE have been many brickbats thrown at the selection of the country's first 20 high performance schools (HPS).

Some have questioned why top names such as Penang Free School, St Michael's Institution (Ipoh), Victoria Institution (Kuala Lumpur) or SMK St Joseph (Kuching) were left out of the list. (pic: Victoria Institution)

Many people have commented that identifying and labelling high performance schools would lead to elitism, while others have said that there should be a level playing field for all schools.

Education deputy director-general (General Education Operations) Datuk Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim wants to set the record straight.

"There has been a lot of cynicism and a negative backlash and the public may be seeing these schools as a single entity.

"These schools earned that position. They went the extra mile and showed their potential," she explains.

Citing an example, she says SK Zainab (2) in Kota Baru used its own initiative to work with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) while SMK (P) St George's co-operative is a great success.

Besides that, there was a stringent application process which schools had to meet in order to obtain the HPS status.

As a result, some of these schools had earlier been given cluster school status and an allocation of RM500,000 to further quantum leap themselves.

"Gaining the HPS designation is similar to the apex university concept as they are awarded to Malaysia's best schools," she adds.

HPS are defined as schools with ethos, character and a unique identity which enable the schools to excel in all aspects of education.

Noor Rezan reiterates that these schools are not elitist.

"We hope that the public will look at it as a whole education national key result areas (NKRA) package," she adds.

The ministry, she adds, had conducted focus groups with the relevant stakeholders including school heads, unions, subject matter experts and the public, who were supportive of the HPS concept.

The rationale behind why high performance schools were chosen as a sub-NKRA are to elevate the quality of the best schools, produce excellent students and raise the bar for other schools in the system.

"Elevating the quality of the best schools means raising the quality of the best performing education institutions through increasing the level of autonomies, such as allowing them to innovate how the school is run.

"At the same time, in producing excellent students who move on to the best institutions of higher learning, and graduate into 'towering personalities' in all fields of work," explains Noor Rezan who is the Education national key result areas (NKRA) lab leader.

It is also to raise the bar for other schools in the system through coaching and networking between institutions.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced the list of the 20 HPS in January. Of the 20 schools named, 10 were fully residential, four secondary and six primary.

Another 30 schools would be named next year, and 50 by 2012, making it 100 in total.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said there would be financial incentives for schools, school leaders, teachers and non-academic staff; a greater range of options for human capital development; and allowance for high-achieving students to advance faster through the education system.

Noor Rezan explains that there is a stringent application process and schools have to prove they are worthy of the selection.

"The Inspectorate of Schools vets all the applications so if a school has given itself a high score under the Malaysian Educational Quality Standards (SKPM), it has to prove that this really is the case," she says.

To be considered for HPS status, primary schools have to meet three out of the five annex criteria required and four out of five for secondary schools.

These annex criteria are excellent academic achievement which is a composite score of the School Average Score (GPS) and a verified SKPM score; towering personalities; national and international awards; linkages with institutions of higher learning; strong network, and nationally and internationally benchmarked.

SK Bukit Damansara headmistress Zarina Jamil says the school has managed to achieve a consistent score of above 90% in the SKPM for the last three years.

"Our pupils have constantly performed well in the UPSR and been placed first in various categories in the state such as the highest number of passes and obtaining all A's," she says.

As for towering personalities, Noor Rezan explains that this means the school has a track record of developing influential and successful individuals while for newer schools, there is a clear aspiration to nurture leaders.

Although the school is about 37 years old, SMK (P) Sri Aman principal Alainal Hasani Md Noor says it has produced many successful students including the first female pilot for Air Asia.

"We try to be environmentally friendly and have two solar panels that generate enough energy for two air-conditioners, and our students turn leftover fruit into enzymes for fertiliser," she adds.

Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah principal Mohamad Kamaludin Taib says the school's old boys from its Alumni Sekolah Alam Shah (Asas) work closely with the school.

"They volunteer their time at school by giving the students motivational and career talks and also hand out monetary rewards," he adds.

On the negative feedback that it was unfair that some of the HPS are residential schools, Mohamad Kamaludin says residential schools have to work as hard as other institutions since there is a lot of competition.

"We can't afford to be complacent," he shares.

For SMK (P) St George principal Shariffah Afifah Syed Abbas, it was not making RM107,000 in profits from running the school co-operative which is important, but the invaluable training the students are receiving in return.

Besides focusing on the traditional co-op bookshop, the school has branched out into running a cafeteria, cybercafe and even growing chillies. There's also a co-op branch selling stationery at the residential hall which caters to around 200 students.

"Not all of our students can volunteer at the co-op bookshop so we built a cafeteria.

"It is managed like a Starbucks outlet and sells food such as muffins, pizzas and yoghurt and is solely operated by the students under the guidance of the teachers," she adds.

Shariffah Afifah says the chilli fertigation programme cost RM10,000 to put in place and will take the school some time to recover the cost.

"But as I told my teachers look at what the students are getting in return as in addition to their books, they are learning about insects and fertilisers.

"Many young people are often reluctant to become entrepreneurs but I hope that with the training and experiences my students are getting here, they can grab such opportunities in the future," she adds.

SK Zainab (2) headmistress Aida Mohd Salleh feels the school's success is due to the pupils' parents who volunteer as assistant teachers.

"Sometimes they get involved in a project or help prepare teaching aids. They also help the children particularly those in Year One to manage themselves," she says.

The school, she adds, also works with USM on a mind enhancement programme.

Helping others

Noor Rezan says HPS will need to play a role in ensuring there is broader impact in the Malaysian education system.

"They need to reach out to other schools through several ways including mentoring and coaching, sharing of best practices, and having attachment programmes.

"As an example, if a school near the HPS has a new teacher and he wants to learn how to be a better Science teacher, he could request to shadow an expert teacher at the HPS," she explains.

At the same time, it does not mean the ministry is neglecting the other schools in the country.

"When the ministry ranks schools, it is not to shame them, but to let the schools know where they stand.

"We just want to help them improve through concrete programmes.

"We want to know whether it is a leadership problem, infrastructure or perhaps the quality of teachers," she adds.

The ministry will put a School Improve-ment Tool Kit on its NKRA website so that all schools can identify what problems they might have and work together to resolve them.

On the confusion regarding the labelling of schools such as cluster or smart schools, Noor Rezan points out that there only three categories of schools.

These are government, government-aided and private schools.

"It may seem like we have many categories of schools but these are just programmes which we have put into place," she adds.

The Star