LIKAS – It was a proud moment for Maktab Nasional and SRK Datuk St Simon, the secondary and primary schools of St Simon Educational Complex (SSEC), when they were awarded the 5-star rating SKIPS (Standard Kualiti Institusi Pendidikan Swasta) by the Ministry of Education, Private Education Division on 24 June 2016. SKIPS is also translated as Standard Quality for Private Education Institution.
For SRS Datuk St Simon, it was their first time to receive the prestigious award, while for Maktab Nasional, it was their third year in running for being awarded, their first in 2013 and second in 2015.
Concerned to regulate the private education industry, and to raise standards in the private education sector through effective regulation, industry development and consumer education, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has introduced the SKIPS in 2010 to develop ‘an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance’ and to ‘explore ways of ensuring an adequate review system for quality assurance, to be administered by MOE.
The following is a summary list of standards and guidelines for internal quality assurance:
– To mobilise the school community to develop and improve the quality of teaching and learning strategic plan that outlines its short term and long term visions and goals.
– To take into account the potential and needs of staff, and the management of internal and external resources by looking at student recruitment procedures, fee structure, teaching and teachers’ evaluation, students’ examinations and assessments, teacher’s training and other administrative records.
– To ensure the effective functioning of the school as a well-balanced intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically learning institution with efficiently managed co-curricular activities and sports, and student affairs.
– To see that teachers’ lesson plans incorporate the latest curriculum specifications and learning outcomes set by MOE based on formative and summative evaluation to develop an optimum level of student achievement.
– To produce students who are knowledgeable, skilled, honourable, responsible and a sense of well-being, by looking at student discipline in school and other academic and non-academic indicators.
Maktab Nasional Principal Alexander Funk disclosed to Catholic Sabah that they were able to achieve the 5-star rating award because of the commitment of each teaching and administrative staff in making sure that the school is constantly in compliance with the quality standards. Besides providing a conducive learning environment for the students, they have also maintained a clean campus, healthy food, and good safety standards.
Funk underlined that the school has been able to maintain the standard set by a continuous evaluation and assessment to improve its records, delivery system, environment and services to reach its next level. The suggestions and feedback on areas for further improvement by Putrajaya Inspectors have been duly prioritised and acted on seriously.
He further commented that there are some things that cannot be measured on paper, for example, the culture and tradition of a school, its spirit and soul, its ethos that are determined by the school community over the years. Though cannot be measured, he said it could be experienced when you become part of the community. He ended with the hope that parents would visit the school and judge for themselves the school that is well loved by their children.
Recently retired head of SRS Datuk Simon, Mary Lojinon, capped her stint as head of school with the deserving 5-star award for the illustrious work she and her teaching and administrative staff have put in.
Meanwhile, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Governors, Msgr Primus Jouil is rightly proud of the institution as a whole.
He said, “The 5-star rating award is synonymous to a 5-star rated hotel, in which the service you experience is equivalent to an international standard…. and that’s what you get at SSEC, an international standard!”
On a more serious note, Jouil said, “The respective schools have done well in their achievement. It has been their ultimate goal to achieve the highest standard possible, particularly to have their students English proficient. It is a priority for the institution to procure qualified teachers to this end.”
Recalling the history of the institution, he said “The schools went through a most difficult patch with a declining number of student intake, making it almost impossible to carry on. However, giving up the school was not in God’s plan.”
Msgr Primus concluded “Today, SSEC is on track again to achieve its aspiration to be a dynamic and knowledge-based private institution in this region, and has demonstrated, with the award of SKIPS, that it takes the quality of its programmes and awards seriously and is willing to put into place the means of assuring and demonstrating that quality.”