A secondary school gets a special makeover.
ONE passionate Teach For Malaysia (TFM) fellow and a group of IACT College students was all it took to give the students of SMK Tengku Idris Shah, Kapar, Selangor completely refurbished classrooms – and a much more conducive learning environment.
TFM fellow Jasmine Ong, who has dedicated two years of her life to teaching at the school, spoke to IACT lecturer Suhana Abdul Kadir about the poor conditions some of her students were studying under.
Suhana then suggested that some of her students take up the challenge to help the school for their projects on corporate social responsibility, and thankfully, a group of them were more than happy to accept it.
Student Lee Kah Yee said: “We really felt it was a good way to give back to the community.”
Lee and a group of classmates then set up a group called the Under Dogs, through which they organised Project Rebuilding Hope to take on the project of refurbishing the classrooms at SMK Tengku Idris Shah – and increase awareness about the conditions of poverty-stricken schools in the Klang Valley.
Getting donations for the project was not easy. Lee said: “We came up with something called the Pledge Card, for everyone in each class to raise RM700 to purchase tables and chairs.
“We approached our own relatives and friends, organised food sales, class-to-class donations and a campaign called ‘Loose Change For Hope’.”
They eventually managed to raise more than RM20,000, along with sponsorships from Ban Hing Paints (paint supplies), Jaya Setia Venture (doors and locks), Aworldtee Engineering (RM1,000 cash) and a couple who only wished to be known as Mr and Mrs Bates, who sponsored the project plaque.
Ong said she teaches Form Four English in five different classes at the school, using the “3A” model – access, affect and achievement.
“Access means giving the students the opportunity to reach for their goals and chart a life path. Affect means instilling or reinforcing the values needed to bring them there and ultimately tying it all together – helping them raise their achievements via academic impact,” said Ong in an interview with the BRATs.
“You must give back to your community – you can’t just take. And when you give back, channel it to the right cause. I think it’s amazing what these students are doing with Project Rebuilding Hope; they’re giving hope to the students in SMK Tengku Idris Shah to actually achieve their dreams,” she added.
On the first day of the refurbishment, November 7, a total of 40 students and volunteers gathered at 8am, all equipped with cleaning utensils, hoping to give the students of SMK Tengku Idris Shah hope for a better future, by giving them better classrooms.
The team was divided into groups of 10, each focusing on refurbishing a classroom. They started by cleaning out the rooms, before dismantling the grills and applying a white undercoat to all the walls.
Two days later, the team came back together to finish the paint jobs, replace the window panes, repaint the grills, and move in the new tables and chairs for the students.
“It was all about teamwork. It was overwhelming to see all the classrooms looking as though the school was built not long ago. It was a great achievement,” Lee concluded.