Monday, June 17

Privatisation paves way for school to regain past glory

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KUCHING: The privatisation of St. Joseph’s School here will pave the way for the school to regain its old glory says Dato John Ha Tiong Hock, the Catholic Archbishop here.

Speaking at the official opening of the school by chief minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at Jalan Nagor here on Saturday, he pointed out the setting up of schools by the Catholic Church was a major contribution to the development of education in the state.

Under the administration of the Church, Catholic mission schools established themselves as among the best in the state producing many outstanding students as the Church had always strived to provide the best education to all the people regardless of race and religion. Ha noted that since mission schools were taken over by the Ministry of Education and integrated into the national system the standing of these schools had slipped

“However, we take consolation from the fact that mission schools are still there to provide education to countless students,” said Ha who mooted the idea of privatising the school together with its former principal Gerald Lee who is now the school’s director.

A committee was set up with the likes of the late Brother Albinus O’Flaherty, former students of both St Joseph’s School Kuching and Sacred Heart School Sibu to undertake a feasibility study of the project.

Ha said that the committee brainstormed on the kind of education that the new school should give and came up with vital decisions such as the use of the National Curriculum and turning the former boys’ school into a coed school.

He emphasized that St. Joseph’s Private School would maintain its tradition of accepting students without regard to their race or religion.

Meanwhile, Lee said the official opening of the school marks a new chapter for St Joseph’s School, adding that the school currently has 360 students.

The school aims to accommodate up to 1000 students with the addition of new classroom blocks.

“Future expansions for the primary school will also be made in the future,” said Lee whose views was echoed by the school principle Father Francis Lim Chin Choy.

Lim who belongs to a religious order officially called the Society of Jesus or Jesuits became the school’s principle in June last year.

“We currently have form one and form two classes, next year we will begin our form three and continue on up to form five and form six,” said Lim.