GEORGE TOWN, Sept 3 — A new private international school for boys and girls will soon be opening up on the historic premises of Convent Light Street (CLS) here, property owner The Infant Jesus (IJ) Sisters Malaysia announced today.
The IJ Sisters said they will be collaborating with local education provider, ACE Edventure for the new school within its grounds overlooking the sea.
“The co-ed school, to start as soon as approvals have been obtained from the authorities, will initially offer Year 1 to Year 10 classes leading to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) with an entrepreneurial component,” the Lady Superior of The Society of Saint Maur Sisters of the Infant Jesus Malaysia said in a statement.
The IJ Sisters said the IGCSE qualification is globally recognised and is equivalent to the GCSE in the United Kingdom.
CLS was the first school set up by the IJ Sisters in the country when they arrived here from Paris in 1852. It has been described as the first girls’ school in Penang, Malaysia and also South-east Asia.
ACE Edventure currently operates three private schools in Selangor: Sirius Scholar in Subang Jaya, Sri Emas in Petaling Jaya and Dwi Emas in Shah Alam.
Its founders, Anne Tham and Melinda Lim, are both former CLS students.
“ACE Edventure is an establishment able to provide affordable learning that is dynamic, progressive and relevant and, most important of all, willing to maintain the ethos of the IJ Convent schools with their emphasis on character building,” the IJ Sisters said.
“The IJ Sisters look forward to this collaboration with ACE Edventure and the new role CLS will play towards the advancement of private education in Malaysia,” it added.
CLS first started as a mission school and had taken in orphans in its early days and continued to house some of them well into the 1990s.
The school was once considered a premier educational institution and had students from around the region.
The IJ Sisters said they decided to take back control of the grounds from the Education Ministry due to a continuous decline in student enrolment over the last decade and escalating costs to maintain the heritage school buildings.
Intake of students for the primary and secondary schools in CLS has stopped since 2017.
However, the IJ Sisters said they have been actively meeting with a number of reputable school operators over the last one year to identify one that shared its educational aspirations to children of all races and found ACE Edventure to be a good fit.
Back in 2017, it was reported that both the primary and secondary CLS in George Town and Convent Pulau Tikus (CPT) secondary school in Pulau Tikus, also belonging to the IJ Sisters, will be closed down as the schools had stopped taking in students.
The IJ Sisters did not mention their plans for the CPT land in their statement today.
The IJ Sisters will fully take over the lands and school buildings when the last batch of students leave by 2024.