CHONG Hwa is turning 100 next year. And, its schools – Chong Hwa Independent High School, SMJK(C) Chong Hwa, and SRJK(C) Chong Hwa in Kuala Lumpur, have already kicked-off the centennial celebration.
A series of events including a torch relay; sharing sessions by prominent alumni members who have excelled in the fields of business, arts, innovation, science, technology, medicine, education and culture; food and fun fair; exhibitions; sporting events; performances; and dinners; have been planned from January this year until December 2019. At a dinner for the media in Petaling Jaya last Saturday, Chong Hwa Independent High School board of directors chairman Tan Sri Lim Keng Cheng said all three schools must be united if they are to scale greater heights. In total, the schools have some 9,000 students.
“Moving forward, the aim is for all of us to march forward as one under the Chong Hwa banner. The chairmen of the other two schools are with us. A grand gala dinner will be held at Stadium Merdeka on March 21 next year,” he said.
Wang Ming Way, who’s the board’s secretary general, said the near future will see the construction of a sports complex.
Setting up a vocational school, and expanding the existing infrastructure, are in the pipeline. Ultimately, the dream is to establish a university, he said.
As an alumni, the one thing that makes him proudest is that the school is “still around”.
“That’s saying a lot because funding is always an issue. We are a success story for Chinese education – which we are very passionate about.
“We’ve persevered through adversities, and proven that trilingual Chinese educated Malaysians are high achievers.
“Many former Chong Hwa students have gone on to become leaders of corporations, academics and so on, not just in Malaysia, but around the world.”
Wang, whose sisters and son, also went Chong Hwa, said it’s the first Chinese school to make it mandatory for students to sit for both the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams.
“It’s very tough. My son, who’s now doing his masters in the United Kingdom, was second last in his class at Chong Hwa. When he went abroad to do his A-Levels, he was second in his school. He had no problems coping. So, you can see Chong Hwa’s standard.”
The board’s vice chairman Gan Yu Chai and his siblings are all Chong Hwa alumni.
“Three went to SMJK(C), and the other three went to the independent school. Chong Hwa needs the support of its alumni. That’s why I came back to contribute.
“The education I received made me who I am today. My teachers were dedicated, and discipline was strict. It’s not just about academics. The school prides itself with producing good citizens. Manners, humility and a sincere heart, are values that we hold strong.”
Chong Hwa students are all-rounders, he said. They’re active in co-curricular activities, and excel in sports, science and mathematics. In the early days, Chong Hwa focused on attracting students. Now, the goal’s to further improve on the quality of education.
“Chong Hwa Independent High School has about 5,000 students with almost 100% SPM passes. It’s 60 students per class now but ideally, it should be 40 for conducive for learning.
“So we’re looking at more classrooms. Our nine-storey administrative block is almost ready and we’re going to build a hostel next.” — By CHRISTINA CHIN