Convent Light Street conversion to international school ‘on track’


Plans to convert one of the nation’s oldest schools, Convent Light Street (CLS) in Penang, into an affordable international school – a first for the country – is on track, Melinda Lim said.

The architect behind the move to turn the school into an international one said the process is on course.

Lim, who is of the CLS Class of 1981, said that her company is fine-tuning the details.

Lim has established a chain of two international schools in the Klang Valley; Sri Emas, Dwi Emas, and it is also operating the MIT Stem school.

The learning institutions are owned and operated by ACE Edventure Sdn Bhd.

She is a co-founder of ACE with her sister Anne Tham.

Lim said there is demand for subjects that advance career growth, such as in science, technical, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“We work closely with the authorities to ensure that we can provide the best and affordable options for parents who are keen to expose their children to the new age form of learning.”

CLS is the first Catholic school in Penang to be upgraded into an international school. It is also the oldest convent-type school in the region.

Lim said the school will be affordable to all Malaysians.

The school’s landowner, the Infant Jesus Sisters, decided to convert the school after a drop in enrolment as families moved out of the George Town city centre to the suburbs in Bayan Baru and Tanjung Bungah.

Female students of CLS have since moved to neighbouring St Xavier’s Institution, which became a co-ed school in 2023.

“We will abide by the ethos of the IJ Sisters. We want to represent the convent well to provide education in an inclusive manner, not in an exclusive way,” said Lim.

On what is new age learning, Lim cited the example of Sri Emas, which offers, besides conventional studies, a computation curriculum. Students are taught to write and develop e-sports software.

At Dwi Emas, the students learn entrepreneurial skills while at MIT Stem, the focus is on STEM skills.

“We also make schooling fun and enduring. Many of our students can’t wait for the school holidays to end.”

Another notable difference is that Lim mostly employs professionals such as doctors, engineers, historians, and lawyers to teach. They are retrained to have effective teaching skills.

“They are graduates in their chosen field such as medicine, but they prefer to teach rather than pursue their professional fields,” said Lim.

Lim is the chief academic officer at the schools.

She said it is important that students hone skills in areas that can make them competitive in an increasingly globalised world.

The CLS Class of 1981 recently marked its 50th anniversary celebration with a trishaw ride and a visit to their old classrooms and canteen.

Among the old students were Joan Lim-Choong, former Mount Miriam Hospital chief executive officer, and Juli Murshidah, a veteran journalist, who began her career at The Star in the 1980s.

The school was closed in March.

Source: TheVibes.com

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