Monday, July 4, 2011

My School in The News

Prof Dr Azlan Abdul Rahman (left) and Assoc Prof Noraiza 
Che Awang (right) with the signed MoU

A religious school is engaging a training centre to provide additional English language coaching for students

HIDAYAH Islamic School started out in 1989 as Sekolah Rendah Islam Hidayah (SRIH), a primary school with only 12 students and four teachers.

Its secondary school, Sekolah Menengah Islam Hidayah (SMIH), was established in 1995 on the campus located along KM26, Jalan Johor Baru, Kg Sinaran Baru in Skudai, Johor.

This religious school is registered under the Education Ministry and Johor Islamic Council as a non-profit private learning institution with an emphasis on academic excellence, co-curriculum achievement and moral integrity in a supportive school and family environment.

It values holistic Islamic education and offers an integrated education that combines academic and religious subjects.

While Hidayah is a religious school, students are encouraged not only to pursue academic success but also to excel in extra-curricular activities.

Kamaliah Noordin, who was SMIH principal from 1995 to March 2011, put in place several initiatives to encourage students to move out of their comfort zone and compete with mainstream schools.

She wanted the public to change its mindset about this religious school as they witness how its students also excelled in extra-curricular activities like sports and debates.

With the slogan “Standing tall over the world”, she motivated teachers and students to take pride in their skills and abilities to compete, often as underdogs, but with much success.

Students excel in sports like football, netball, table-tennis and archery at district and state levels. They have also won several national level competitions in debate and bridge model designing.

The school’s debating teams in Malay, English and Arabic categories emerged as champions in inter-school, national and international debates.

Every year the school continues to achieve high academic performance in all the national examinations at primary and secondary levels.

In 2003, the Department of Private Education of the Ministry of Education recognised Hidayah Islamic School as the Best Private School in Johor and SRIH and SMIH were accorded the third and fourth places as top private schools in the country, respectively.

Today, SRIH has 1,047 pupils with a total of 30 classes and is supported by 67 teachers. SMIH has 645 students from Forms One to Five with 43 teaching staff.

While most of the students are from Peninsular Malaysia, there are a number of students from Sabah and Sarawak as well as some from Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore.

In an effort to provide global perspective to the students through international experience, the school organised post-SPM programmes that involved them in community service activities in Sabah and Indonesia, including the disaster-hit areas in Aceh.

The school also received visits from international school
delegations from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Japan.

In April 2011, their English debating team participated in an Open Debate organised by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, as the only secondary school from Malaysia among teams from universities and colleges.

It was an ambitious effort to pit Form Three and Form Five students against law undergrads, but a worthwhile outing for the team to earn some valuable experience and exposure.

The team’s next challenge is at the Asian School Debate championship held in Seoul, South Korea.

School principal, Fauziah Abd Salam, realised that while many students have a good command of written English, there is still room for improvement in the area of verbal skills.

In line with the school’s objectives, Hidayah Islamic School recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al-Ikhlas Cambridge Sdn Bhd, a language-training centre that will provide English language coaching to complement the students’ formal learning in school.

Associate Prof Noraiza Che Awang, executive director and group principal, signed the MOU on behalf of Al-Ikhlas while

Professor Dr Azlan Ab Rahman and Ahmadon Bakri signed for the Hidayah Centre of Education.

Under this MoU, students will learn English under the Cambridge English system with a focus on grammar, the foundation of language and literacy skills of reading and writing.

The study approach will draw students into lively discussion on how to correct “broken English” and equip them with the skills to further access knowledge from materials that are available in English.

These skills are based on the unique Cambridge syllabus that focuses on all four language-learning skills involving reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Established in Shah Alam Section 13 Al-Ikhlas has grown to become a diversified language school with four centres in Shah Alam and one in Johor Baru. The latest centre is at Shah Alam City Centre Mall.