SMK Chung Hua Miri students bring home World Robot Olympiad honours


All members of the Malaysian teams fly the Jalur Gemilang in a photo-call after the WRO 2017 finale in Costa Rica.

MIRI: The teams from SMK Chung Hua Miri staged a commendable performance at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2017 in Costa Rica recently.

The school’s Team I placed second behind the Russian team in the Regular Junior category of the competition where the Chinese Taipei team placed third.

It was a neck-to-neck race between the top two teams – both obtaining the same 960 points, but the Russians  triumphed as they were ahead the Mirians by a mere 0.23-second.

It was also the same outcome in the Regular Senior category with the Russian team as the winner, SMK Chung Hua Miri Team II the first runner-up and the Chinese Taipei team, second runner-up.

The Miri teams were among the three-squad contingent from Malaysia competing in Costa Rica. The other team, calling themselves ‘The Amazing Green’, won the Open Elementary category.

The WRO is a global robotics competition for youngsters, who use ‘Lego Mindstorms’ manufactured by Lego Education.

The key objective is to bring together young people from all over the world to develop their creativity, design and problem-solving skills through challenging and educational robot challenges.

Established in 2003, the WRO has gathered young potential robot designers from more than 50 countries including Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India, Denmark, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, South Africa, Switzerland, Armenia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil and the US.

WRO comprises four main challenges – Regular, Open, WRO Football and Advanced Robotics.

“Following last year’s exceptional performance in WRO which was held in India, we – including the school board of directors – are so proud of our teams who have done so well,” SMK Chung Hua Miri principal Wong King Kui said in a press statement yesterday.

“By learning and sharing knowledge, it helps a lot in identifying our own weaknesses and to see thoroughly what we can do to improve. Of course, I do hope that they have learnt a lot and I anticipate a much better performance in next year’s WRO, to be hosted in Chiangmai, Thailand.”

TYT pays tribute to St Joseph’s School on its 135th anniversary


Taib cuts the anniversary cake at the event, as (from left) Dr Sim, Manyin and others look on. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: St Joseph’s School has contributed much to the state by producing holistic human capital since its inception 135 years ago, observes Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

“St Joseph’s School has produced many good people who have contributed to the development of this country,

both in the public and private sector. I am lucky to be one of the Josephians and as a Josephian, I will never be lonely,” he said at the school’s 135th anniversary and reunion dinner on Friday.

Four of the six chief ministers who have served Sarawak since independence were from this school.

Taib, who studied there from 1951 to 1955, said he was proud of the achievements of the school.

Thus, he urged former Josephians to contribute back to the school so that it could continue its good work for the state.

Later, the Head of State announced a donation of RM100,000 to the school.

Earlier, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also Old Josephians Association president, said the association would strive to raise RM2 million for the rebuilding of the Mill Hill Block.

“We don’t want this historical building to disappear or burnt  down like St Teresa School. Therefore, we need to contribute to the school to improve its facilities,” he stressed.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manying  represented Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at the event.

Both are also distinguished alumni of the school.

‘Merging of low enrolment schools to start next year’


Manyin (middle, front row) gets ready for a photo-call with a delegation from Pertubuhan Penduduk Kampung Pichin led by chairman Raymond Achen (on his right) who came to the DUN yesterday to witness the proceedings of the sitting.

KUCHING: The construction of centralised schools, to merge government schools with low enrolment (SKMs), must begin next year to avoid any unwanted delays.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said the first centralised school will be constructed most probably in May. He also said for a start, the ministry would like to build at least one centralised school in every rural constituency upon agreement from the parents.

“Our target is we must start (constructing the centralised school) by probably May next year. A few projects to build the centralised schools are confirmed but we cannot reveal these to you yet.

“The RM1-billion allocation from the federal budget 2018 is for two years. If we don’t start, the money won’t be utilised. If money is not utilised, we have to return the money (to the federal government),” he told reporters on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.

He pointed out that the greatest hurdle now is to get parents to agree to the centralised schools, which would see government schools with low enrolment (SKMs) closed down and pupils moved to the new centralised schools. Because of this, he said the Education Department and the district education officers have been directed to hold dialogues with parent-teacher associations (PTAs) to brief the parents on the matter.

“We will probably get all their feedback the earliest by January next year. The response in some areas is quite tough due to matters such as sentimental value to the schools, but in certain areas it is a bit easy.

“We start with a model centralised school. Those who don’t agree, we will bring them there and let them see. Hopefully, they will agree later on, that is our strategy, but it is going to be tough,” he said.

Manyin also stressed that centralised schools is the only way for Sarawak to elevate its academic performance especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Our state is placed 15th out of 16 in Malaysia, which is worse than I initially thought. We want to move up in the ranking,” he said.

To a question, he said the move to build centralised schools will not affect Chinese schools and mission schools in the state. He said even though a meeting was held with boards of management of Chinese schools and mission schools on this matter, they have to give their consensus to join in the programme.

“The Chinese schools, for example, are scared of losing their licence. So I told them ‘if you close this school, you can transfer the licence to towns because a lot of those schools there are overcrowded’. We will not touch them for now,” he said.

UPSR results out on Nov 23


KUALA LUMPUR: The results of the 2017 Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination will be announced on Nov 23, said the Ministry of Education in a statement yesterday.

It said in a statement that candidates could get their results from their respective schools after 10 am on that day.

“Candidates can also check their results using the mySMS 15888 service,” it said.

“The service will be activated from 10 am on Nov 23 and terminated at 6 pm on Nov 29,” it added.

A total of 443,794 candidates sat for the UPSR this year at 8,085 examination centres throughout the country. — Bernama

School’s waste oil transformer wins gold


(Standing from left) Chong, Ronan and Pau with their principal Ananthan Subramaniam (seated centre) and Ling (seated second right).

BINTULU: The Waste Oil Transformer (WOT) project by SMK Bintulu students received international recognition after winning the gold medal in the Secondary School Technology Category of the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair (KLESF) International Challenge 2017.

WOT is a device that converts used cooking oil into liquid soap to avoid polluting waterways. The prototype is mainly made up of a Tetrix base set.

The SMK Bintulu team, represented by Danielle Chong Shu Yi, Ronan Ling Jing Yik and Johnson Pau Jion Seng, received RM500 cash and a certificate.

Teacher-in-charge Ling Sim Hie said the school participated in the competition for the first time as a platform for the students to showcase their creativity and innovation.

“We obtained valuable knowledge and experience from this competition and participants displayed wonderful ideas and efforts,” he said.

Ling said the gold medal won in the competition was a clear indication that students from Bintulu can compete at international level with extra effort and preparation.

KLESF is an initiative with various programmes and activities to promote interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) among primary and secondary school students.

The competition was held at the MINES International Exhibition Convention Centre from Nov 3 to 5.

A total of 309 teams from eight countries, namely Malaysia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand took part in the competition.