January 18, 2018
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An old picture of orphans playing at Convent Light Street circa 1920s. ― Picture courtesy of Marcus LangdonAn old picture of orphans playing at Convent Light Street circa 1920s. ― Picture courtesy of Marcus LangdonGEORGE TOWN, Nov 4 — News that three premier and prominent schools on the island are facing closure, has shocked former students.

The SK Convent Light Street, SMK Convent Light Street (CLS) and SMK Convent Pulau Tikus (CPT) will see a reduction in student intake beginning next year heading towards closure.

Sharon Selvarani, 34, who used to be a trainee teacher in SK Convent Light Street in 2000 said she is saddened to say goodbye to the school.

“The school is close to my heart as I embarked on my teaching journey there and the senior teachers there have instilled copious amounts of knowledge into me.

“I made sure I stopped and took pictures outside the school building every time I visit Penang,” said the teacher, who is now serving in a school in Rawang, Selangor.

“I am sad and I hope the school is kept and refurbished because the nation needs more schools like this,” she said.

The chairman of Stella Maris primary school in Jalan Hulu Klang, Dr Christine Chow, 67, who was a former student of SMK Convent Light Street, expressed her disappointment over the closure of the school.

“I’m not only a former student, but was an orphan there too,” she told Malay Mail.

“I studied and grew up in the school and I feel devastated knowing the school is going to be closed.”

Christine, who is also a lecturer at Berjaya University College of Hospitality, said the school had provided a good education for many students, including orphans like her.

“The teachers, especially Khor Chin-Kee, always motivated us and gave us the confidence to perform better in the class,” said Christine, who is from the batch of 1968.

Christine also said the thing that she remembered the most in the school was the kindness showed by the nuns, who were looking after the orphans.

“I valued them and they never treated us in a harsh manner,” she said.

Fellow former student Teow Min Yee said the school held much memories.

“It was my secondary school and I boarded in the school for one year when I was in Form 5. It was a beautiful school and the place is peaceful,” said Teow, who is from the batch of 1967.

“The building of the school is also historical. It’s sad to hear that the management is closing the school. The teachers in the school are knowledgeable and they have imparted a lot of moral values. Most of the school leavers are doing good now,” said the former physiotherapist.

Khaw Chia Hui, 34, who attended CLS from Primary Two to Form 5, said the school has historical value and was so beautiful that she opted to take her pre-wedding photos there.

“I have great memories there, such as using Francis Light’s office as a classroom, and contributing to fundraisers to help renovate the school.

“Being by the sea, the school was also beautiful and I even snuck in to take pre-wedding photos,” said the alumnae of class 2000.

Kim Danker-Ooi, 34, who attend CLS from Primary 4 to Form 5 and graduated in 2000, said the school and its educators have played a significant role for many of them.

“I have heartfelt gratitude for the school’s contribution,” she said.

Another CLS alumnae of class 2000, S. Sivagami said the school should be gazetted as a heritage site.

“I’m perplexed over the decision for the Sisters of the Infant Jesus to take back the school. All I wish is that the school be gazetted as a heritage site given its rich and long history,” said the alumnae who attended the school from removed class to Form 5.

CLS alumnus of 1981, Rani Grantham, 53, said she had fond memories of the school.

“My memories of that school is having classes overlooking the sea. It always had a peaceful atmosphere. The Irish nuns looked strict but were in fact very approachable,” she said.



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