By Nur Natasha Aida Ismail
NILAI: Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC) has finally earned itself recognition to conduct IB Diploma programmes after two years of hard work to provide facilities that meet the standards set by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).
In March 2016, TKC became the second elite college after the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) to offer such programmes as well as the first all-girls school to do so.
Headmistress Hamizan A. Hamid said the school, located in Bandar Enstek here, is one of 69 fully residential schools selected by the Education Ministry’s Fully Residential and Excellence Schools Management Division to offer the programme.
For the first cohort, the college targets 50 students who will be able to register in June 2016.
“Interested students need to score 7As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exams with credits in English and Bahasa Melayu. They need to be all-rounders, active and enjoy challenges because we aim to place them in universities abroad. Hopefully, they will be able to adapt quickly.
“The programme is not only open to TKC students, we also accept students from other schools but they must meet the requirements set,” she said.
The pre-university programme from IBO, centralised in Geneva, Switzerland, is fully conducted in English except for the subject Malay A.
The two-year four semester programme with fees of RM50,000 aims to produce world-class leaders through a balance of academics and community service.
“The cost includes lodging, fees and meals whereby we run a service oriented programme that is much cheaper than other private institutions that go for profit.
“We are actively promoting the programme to obtain sponsors for students to pursue the programme. Students who have lesser financial capabilities need to find a sponsor to join,” added Hamizan.
The nine subjects offered under the IB programme are Malay A, Mathematics High Level (HL), Mathematics Standard Level (SL), English B, History, Visual Arts, Chemistry, Business Management and Physics with three additional compulsory components namely Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and Extended Essay.
Commenting further, Hamizan said the IB Diploma programme is different from A-Level because the A-Level programme has a curriculum that focuses on written work, studying and sitting for an exam with a maximum of four subjects.
The IB Diploma programme, on the other hand, required students to complete a course in theoretical knowledge, community service and a 4,000-word essay, she added.
“Our mission is to build our student’s profile, which is why we emphasize on individual development not only in terms of curriculum but also contributions in projects and programmes with the community at school, outside school or abroad.
“From here students can appreciate and build skills and expertise. By the end of the programme they will be students who are lifelong learners and independent learners through research, critical thinking and creativity,” she said.
Upon touring TKC, it is undeniable that the facilities provided are world-class and its library is at par with those of universities. Their labs have high safety features including fire proof tables, classrooms equipped with Apple TV and a viewing room like that of mini theatre.
These world-class facilities, added with the ‘one student one gadget learning’ concept through the use of Ipads, prepares the Middle Years Programme International Baccalaureate (MYPIB) which will see TKC recognised as an IB World School, or a fully IB school starting from Form One until Diploma.
The college, which has been listed as a ‘Apple Distinguished School’ candidate, will become the only government school with access to Apple’s education software and gadgets.
Meanwhile, diploma programme coordinator Hafitah Baharuddin said in terms of selection and preparation, 12 teachers were selected to teach the programme.
“Our selection process is stringent and the teachers were chosen according to qualifications required by the IBO and will be interviewed by the Malaysian Education Ministry. Those eligible will go for a three-day workshop organised by the IBO before they can receive a certificate.
“In terms of preparation, teachers and the headmistress also need to undergo workshops in Hong Kong. Besides that, teachers take two years to grasp the concept of IB education,” she added.
According to Hafitah, IB diploma students are highly in demand by over 1,200 international universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
“Though we aim to place our students in universities abroad, we still maintain local values with our tagline ‘World Class Education With A Local Touch’. Our students understand that they are citizens with a responsibility towards Malaysia,” she said.
TKC Parent-Teacher Association president Datuk Nasir Ali said he was excited about the recognition bestowed on the college as the IB Diploma programme was becoming more accepted by the public.