By Jo Lynn Chong
Wesley Methodist School Ipoh (International) held its 12th Honours Day on Saturday, November 16, to acknowledge the outstanding performances of their students in academics and beyond. Guest of honour M. Kulasegaran, Human Resources Minister was invited to give out the many prizes to the 2019 top scorers for IGCSE, Year 9 and Year 6 Checkpoint examinations.
Around 100 students collectively, from both junior and senior schools, were awarded prizes and certificates, out of a total of approximately 350 students currently studying in the school.
Datin Clareen Chen, Chief Executive Officer of WMSII expressed, “This year, we have been blessed to celebrate the achievement of our students twice, once to recognise our last graduation batch of SPM candidates and this time to rejoice in the excellent results of our pioneer batch of IGCSE candidates. Taken together with our Checkpoint results and our participation in co-curriculum activities, WMSII has many reasons to be thankful this year.”
“In most of our subjects, in fact, our results show significant improvement. Scores attained by the Year 6 and Year 9 Checkpoint students were above the world average.”
Besides praising the students for their brilliant academic success, Clareen also highlighted the accomplishments of the students in international competitions, one being the International STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Competition in Taiwan during August this year.
“Four of our students went, conquered and came back with one gold and two silver medals out of three competitions.”
“On the home front, our students continue to nurture their talents through an array of activities after the final exams. They had talent competitions, book launches and organised their own inter-house competitions. This year, WMSII, therefore, continues the tradition of recognising students not only for academic excellence but also for having made great strides in transforming their lives, in changing their situations. Our special awards are for achievements that may not seem spectacular or magnificent to the world but to us, they represent something far more valuable – character and values,” Clareen stated.
On another note, in his speech, Kula explained, “Many of you will wonder why a minister is attending such a small school’s prize-giving ceremony but in the process of nation-building, I have come to realise, as Minister of Human Resources, that actually this is where nation-building begins. If we want to raise a workforce that is skilled, intelligent, dedicated and with the right values, it is exactly here where we begin, at our schools.”
Kula also emphasised the importance of Industry 4.0 and skills-training in Malaysia.
“Some six, seven years ago, 10 years ago, studying to be a doctor is a major thing. It is still a major thing in many ways, academic excellence and all that, but we all know what’s happening to doctors and the profession. Many who graduate come back and wait for houseman for a year or two years. Whoever dreamt this will happen? And after that, for you to get a job in the government service is another competitive matter.”
“My ministry will be launching a booklet and I hope to get across to every school in this country and if possible, to every parent. We list out the most dangerous professions that you may go to university to study but upon finishing your studies find that those jobs are no longer around, as well as jobs which are very promising in the future.”
“I have under my ministry a few institutes which do a lot of expert leadership training. We have what we call in Bahasa Malaysia, ‘Kemahiran’, the skills,” Kula stated.
“When I took the ministry last year, the total percentage of students in these kinds of institutes all around the country was holding around 60-70%. The last year, because of this push and to educate and inform Malaysian public, within a short span of one year, we have an increase of 10 % in the number of students in these institutes.”
“Many of these people who graduate or roughly 94% of the students who graduate from these kinds of institutes have got a job waiting for them,” Kula asserted.
“Also, many of these students who study there and get the skill, get paid very well. They may just earn about RM1500-2000 but they increase after a two-year technical college training. Within the span of six, seven years, they earn RM10,000, RM15,000, RM20,000 and this is something that many Malaysians do not realise.”
“I am willing to even send one special team to your school for you to get a bit of experience, to know what is Industrial Revolution 4.0. Let the government officers come, let them explain to you the significance of this.”
Kula ended his speech with a word of advice to the graduating students of 2019, “Develop a passion for learning, if you do, you will never cease to grow.”