To do well in any subject you must be able to think correctly! Thinking skills are something you can learn and develop. Ask yourself questions as you read your textbooks and notes. Talk to other students whom you notice have good thinking skills. You can also sharpen your thinking skills by taking IQ tests available in books or the Internet, or playing games that require thinking such as word games.



Tunku Kurshiah College Now Offering IB Diploma Programme

By Nur Natasha Aida Ismail

NILAI (Bernama) -- Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC) is finally able to offer the IB Diploma programme after two years of preparation and providing facilities that meet the standard set by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).

In March 2016, TKC became the second elite school after the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) to offer the programme as well as becoming the first all-girls school to do so.

Headmistress Hamizan A. Hamid said the school, located in Bandar Enstek here, is one of 69 fully residential schools selected by the Education Ministry's Fully Residential and Excellence Schools Management Division to offer the programme.

STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

The college will be accepting 50 students in its first cohort and they will be able to enroll when registration opens in June.

"Interested students need to have obtained 7As in the SPM examinations with credits in English and Bahasa Melayu. They need to be highly competent, physically active and enjoy challenges because they would ultimately be placed in universities abroad. We want them to be able to quickly adapt to their environment later on.

"The programme is not only open to TKC students but also those from other schools but they must meet the stipulated requirements, she said.

Hamizan said the pre-university programme is from an IBO, based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is conducted fully in English with the exception of the Malay A subject.

COST

The four-semester programme is spread over two years and costs RM50,000. Its goals is to produce world-class leaders who excel academically and are as involved with community service.

"The cost covers lodging, tuition fees and meals. It is a service oriented-programme and thus is much cheaper than other private institutions that seek profits when offering such programmes.

"We are actively promoting the programme to encourage sponsors to fund students for the programme, particularly for students who find the fees beyond their means would need to get a sponsorship to join, she said.

SUBJECTS OFFERED

The nine subjects offered under the IB programme are Malay A, Mathematics High Level (HL), Mathematics Standard Level (SL), English B, History, Visual Arts, Chemistry, Business Management and Physics with three additional compulsory components namely Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and Extended Essay.

Hamizan said the IB Diploma programme is different from the A-Level programme because the latter has a curriculum that focuses on written work, studying and sitting for an exam with a maximum of four subjects.

The IB Diploma programme, on the other hand, requires students to complete a course in theoretical knowledge, community service and a 4,000-word essay, she explained.

"Our mission is to build our students profile, which is why we emphasise on individual development. Our focus is not only on curricular advancements but their contributions in projects and programmes with the community, whether in the school or outside.

"From there students can develop the required skills and expertise. By the end of the programme they will become students who are lifelong learners and independent learners through research, critical thinking and creativity," she said.

FACILITIES

Bernama toured the college and found that the facilities provided were indeed world-class.

Its library is at par with those at universities. Its laboratories are equipped with high safety features such as fireproof tables while its classrooms are equipped with Apple TV and a viewing room like that of a mini theatre.

These world-class facilities, such as the 'one student one gadget learning' through the use of iPads are in preparation for the Middle Years Programme International Baccalaureate, which will see TKC recognised as an IB World School or a fully IB school that caters to students from Form One to the Diploma level.

TKC is currently in the running to become an 'Apple Distinguished School', a designation reserved for schools that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence, in addition to demonstrating Apples vision of exemplary learning environments.

It will then become the only Malaysian government school with access to Apple's education software and gadgets.

Meanwhile, the diploma programme coordinator Hafitah Baharuddin said 12 teachers have been selected for programme.

"We have a stringent selection process and the teachers were chosen according to qualifications stipulated by the IBO and will be interviewed by the Malaysian Education Ministry, she explained.

She said after the selection, the headmistress had to attend a category one workshop in Hong Kong. The selected teachers, meanwhile, had to go through two years of preparation in learning the concept of IB education.

"The teachers then attend a three-day workship organised by the IBO before they can become certified," she explained.

IN DEMAND

According to Hafitah, IB diploma students are in high demand by over 1,200 international universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia due to their unique concept of learning and potential for producing research as exhibited through their extended essays.

"Though we aim to place our students in universities abroad, we still maintain local values with our tagline 'World Class Education With A Local Touch'. Our students understand that they are citizens with a responsibility towards Malaysia," she said.

The TKC Parent-Teacher Association president Datuk Nasir Ali was enthused with the recognition.

He said the programme enabled SPM leavers who were still unsure of what field to pursue in to weigh in their options while studying.

"The programme allows for a wider option upon graduation, unlike the A-Levels where students would have to select a field and follow through."

-- BERNAMA