MRSM as agents of change

Nur­tur­ing stu­dents in ru­ral ar­eas with the best ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem

New Straits Times - - News - KUALA KANGSAR intan.zalila@nst.com.my

SUL­TAN of Perak Sul­tan Nazrin Muiz­zud­din Shah of­fi­ci­ated the renaming cer­e­mony of Kuala Kangsar Mara Ju­nior Science Col­lege (MRSM) here on Thursday to Sul­tan Azlan Shah MRSM.

It is named af­ter his fa­ther and the 34th ruler of the state, Sul­tan Azlan Muhib­bud­din Shah.

Sul­tan Nazrin pro­claimed the change of name and signed a plaque to com­mem­o­rate the oc­ca­sion.

MRSM col­leges are sig­nif­i­cant for their con­tri­bu­tion in em­pow­er­ing Bu­mi­put­eras through ed­u­ca­tion.

Sul­tan Azlan Shah MRSM, lo­cated on 20ha of land at Lot 2344, Li­man Kati, Kuala Kangsar, was es­tab­lished on July 6, 2015, with 36 man­age­ment and ad­min­is­tra­tion staff un­der its prin­ci­pal, Shahrome Daud.

Af­ter about two years in op­er­a­tion, Sul­tan Azlan Shah MRSM has grown to 725 stu­dents; 347 male and 378 fe­male stu­dents, 51 teach­ers and 29 sup­port staff.

The eighth MRSM in the state and 50th in the coun­try has be­came a cat­a­lyst to the ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment at Kota Lama Kiri.

Lo­cated 15km away from Kuala Kangsar town and a 10-minute jour­ney from the North South Ex­press­way Kuala Kangsar exit, it of­fers easy ac­cess and mo­bil­ity for par­ents and stu­dents. It also plays a vi­tal role in de­vel­op­ing the eco­nomic and so­cial sec­tors.

The MRSM ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem fo­cuses on four dif­fer­ent do­mains that have been care­fully planned — cur­ricu­lum de­vel­op­ment, stu­dent growth, pro­fes­sional ad­vance­ment, fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vice im­prove­ment.

This is in ac­cor­dance with the STREAM em­pha­sis — Science; Tech­nol­ogy; Re­li­gion; En­gi­neer­ing; Arts and Math­e­mat­ics.

Ru­ral and Re­gional Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Is­mail Sabri Yaakob said stu­dents from ru­ral ar­eas should be nur­tured with the best ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem at Mara ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, such as MRSM, to pro­duce first class hu­man cap­i­tal at a global level.

“In con­junc­tion with the min­istry’s trans­for­ma­tional agenda, with Mara as an agency un­der it, we are com­mit­ted to make Mara an im­por­tant agency to carry out its re­spon­si­bil­ity and en­sure that ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties do not miss out in the era of moderni­sa­tion.

Mara pri­ori­tises ru­ral stu­dents, the hard­core and ur­ban poor with sev­eral forms of as­sis­tance, such as fi­nan­cial and school equip­ment aid.

This in done with the hope that stu­dents would then be­come the agents of change, Is­mail said.

Is­mail said there were many suc­cess­ful Malaysian icons who were for­mer MRSM stu­dents. These in­clude the na­tion’s first as­tro­naut Dr Syed Sheikh Muzaff­far Shukor and Air Asia chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Ka­marud­din Mer­a­nun, a well-known Bu­mi­put­era cor­po­rate fig­ure.

MRSM’s his­tory can be traced back to when Mara re­quested for an al­lo­ca­tion for de­vel­op­ment ex­pen­di­ture over a five-year pe­riod in the “Batik Pa­per” with the aim of build­ing a Bu­mi­put­era sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tion, known as Mara Ju­nior Science Col­lege. It uses the New York Bronx High School of Science model.

The cost of first MRSM in Serem­ban was RM1 mil­lion, where two teach­ers from New York Bronx High School of Science were brought in to write MRSM’s frame­work.

At that time, the MRSM syl­labus was the same as gov­ern­ment schools. How­ever, the cur­ricu­lum im­ple­men­ta­tion was dif­fer­ent, where the learn­ing ses­sion re­quired stu­dents to search for the in­for­ma­tion them­selves, based on the learn­ing by dis­cov­ery method.

In 1972, the first MRSM in Serem­ban started its op­er­a­tions with an in­take of 150 stu­dents. The build­ing was a ren­o­vated Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan In­sti­tute of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Train­ing Cen­tre, which con­sisted of three lab­o­ra­to­ries, five class­rooms, an of­fice garage and a din­ing hall.

Now with 52 MRSM and more than 175,000 grad­u­ates, most of the alumni have gone on to forge ca­reers as political lead­ers, cor­po­rate and gov­ern­ment lead­ers, gov­ern­ment depart­ment di­rec­tors, suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs and pro­fes­sion­als.

PIC BY MUHAIZAN YAHYA

Sul­tan of Perak Sul­tan Nazrin Muiz­zud­din Shah and Raja Per­maisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim vis­it­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion in Sul­tan Azlan Shah MRSM in Kuala Kangsar on Thursday.

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