MRSM as agents of change
Nurturing students in rural areas with the best education system
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.
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.