schools' role hard to replace : Dr. Yee
Sunday, 22 June 2003 (Source : Daily
Mission schools are distinguished as melting pots for the
various races in this country, perhaps more than any other
school, with their proud tradition of unity in diversity,
integration and ethnic and religious harmony.
at a time when the colonial government did little to provide
education for the masses, the Christian churches and the
Chinese community were the only providers of education which
the people of Sabah had depended on for their children’s
education,” said Tanjung Aru MP, Dr Yee Moh Chai.
Yee, as the guest-of-honour at the Sacred Heart Primary
School’s Centenary celebrations on Saturday said this in
said there was no denying that such schools were instrumental
in bringing Sabah into the modern era.
products of the mission schools dominated the political,
administrative and technical scenes when Sabah became independent
in the 60s.
still do today and I hope the churches will continue to
find meaning in this partnership with the Government to
provide education for the young.
understand that the churches are reassessing their role.
Now that the Government has taken over the provision of
education, there have been questions in certain quarters
as to the continued relevance of the mission schools. I
personally feel that the mission schools still have a role
to play to provide a distinct brand of quality education,
which is difficult to replace or surpass.
know that the operation of the Education Act throughout
Malaysia may have curtailed the freedom with which the mission
schools had in pursuing their own style and emphasis in
education, but I believe much can still be done to bring
about a measure of individuality and imaginative and innovative
approach to education within the broad national education
am sure the Government appreciates the invaluable contributions
that the mission schools in general and Sacred Heart in
particular have made to society in the last 100 years and
will continue to count on the mission schools to do their
full role in this partnership, and do so with full recognition
of the original purposes for which the schools were established,”
State Education Director, Datuk Kamal Quadra, in his speech
congratulated the school on reaching its 100 years (1903-2003)
and having achieved at one time a national reputation as
being one of the best schools in the country.
need to bring back that era of excellence,” he said, adding
he would try to help the school in whatever way within the
that he was well aware of the problems faced by the school
as regards its dilapidated infrastructure despite considerable
repair works and a facelift, he encouraged the La Salle
Board of Governors which manages the Sacred Heart Primary
School, to continue to work at getting its plan for a new
school at its new site realised.
the function, Kamal also introduced the school’s new headmaster,
Simon Lim, handing to him there and then, his appointment
letter. Lim is replacing Jimmy Lindua.
Board, presently headed by Datuk Stanislaus Yee, has actually
secured a five-acre lot at Kepayan Ridge. The site is a
rocky hill close to residential areas. However, because
of the high cost of site preparation such as controlled
blasting, and earthworks, the development of the new school
has not been able to get off the ground as yet.
Board said it would need the help and support of the entire
school community in its endeavour and hopes that parents
will respond generously to all future appeals for donations
and participation in whatever way.
history of the Sacred Heart School is intertwined with the
history of the Sacred Heart Church, which was founded by
a Dutch Mill Hill priest, Fr Henry van der Heyden in 1903.
Heyden arrived on Jan 20, 1903 to begin a new Roman Catholic
Mission in Jesselton.
Mission which included a boys’ school was located in a room
above a seafront Chinese shop in Jesselton.
that small room, daily classes were held and liturgy was
celebrated. Together with one catechist, he taught catechism,
English and arithmetic to about 20 boys, most of whom were
Chinese. There were more boarders than day pupils.
was a constraint, the room being far too small. However,
things turned for the better when in that same year, on
April 9, 1903, he secured the site where the present Sacred
Heart Cathedral and Sacred Heart Primary School stand on
a 999-year lease.