Ethos, Special Character and Traditions of Malaysian Christian Mission Schools

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SPECIAL CHARACTER OF MISSION SCHOOLS

Mission Schools believe in :

(A) EDUCATION FOR ALL AND FOR UNITY

  • Education is for everyone irrespective of race, religion, gender or socio-economic status;
  • The composition of students and teaching staff reflects the multi-ethnic character of the country

Therefore, the ideal of unity is put into practice among all. Discriminatory and divisive practices are to be avoided. Mutual respect for one another’s differences and culture is inculcated.

We believe that each student is a unique individual endowed with distinctive character, aptitudes and abilities.
The Methodist Council of Education
Care, concern and compassion for the least, the last and the lost.

(B) COMPASSION FOR THE POOR AND WEAK

  • Education in mission schools brings hope to the poor and weak.

Therefore, it gives special attention and care to those suffering from any aspect of poverty: financial, moral, cultural, spiritual, cognitive, physical or emotional.

(C) EDUCATION THAT IS PERSON-CENTRED

  • Each student is a unique individual made in the image of God and endowed with distinctive character, aptitudes and abilities and is worthy of love, respect and acceptance.

Therefore, each student should be nurtured and developed as a whole person – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially – to his or her fullest potential.

It is our intense preoccupation with the lives of the young and their hopes and aspirations and their anguish and sorrows that move adults to paint new horizons and pave new paths for the generations to come. This can only come about when we are ready to return to our founding inspirations of restoring the sacredness of human persons, as the channel for the building of a more humane world.
Bro Anthony Rogers fsc

(D) DISCIPLINE WITH LOVE

  • Mission schools possess a culture of “discipline with love” brought about through a process of training in Christian values of love, trust, humility, forgiveness, compassion, peace and justice.

Therefore, discipline is inculcated with appropriate punishment, creating an awareness of right and wrong. This takes place within a context of constant encouragement, affirmation and love. This in turn produces students and alumni with compassion, integrity, resilience and diligence.

We are what we are because of you, Teachers! They don’t make teachers like you anymore.
former students

(E) PRAYER AND PRESENCE OF GOD

  • Prayer and the presence of God encourage the student to live a God-fearing life.

Therefore there is a culture of awareness of God in the school which stems from traditional practices, icons and references to God and prayer.

(F) PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE

  • Teachers in mission schools, led by the Head Teacher, are driven by the spirit of dedication and sacrifice.

Therefore, teachers work with full commitment to guide the boys and girls under their care with charity and patience.

Education is the moulding of the heart; in order to pursue such an aim it is necessary to use kindness with one, firmness with another, reason with the third. But everyone has to be dealt with love especially the poor girls(boys) who do not enjoy affection in the family. These girls(boys) must find that we are mothers /fathers to them.
St. Magdalen of Canossa

ETHOS INDICATORS IN MISSION SCHOOLS

1) HUMAN DIGNITY

  • Care for the marginalized students, e.g. feeding programmes for the poor, etc.
  • A culture of honesty, integrity and justice
  • Good discipline. Respectful and polite behavior
  • Home visits

2) PEOPLE RESOURCES

  • Administration by Christian Head
  • Active Board of Governors in the school
  • Involvement of Christian parents
  • Active participation of alumni
  • Chaplain/Pastor/Priest who visits school regularly and counsels
  • Christian students and teachers

3) FACILITIES

  • Chapel or room designated as Prayer Room
  • Archives/Heritage room displaying artefacts and records of school’s history and list of benefactors, past heads, etc
  • Room for Board of Governors

The holistic education and national values articulated in the Rukun Negara and the National Philosophy of Education have long been accepted as the hallmarks of the Christian Mission Schools as may be seen through the value placed on loyalty to king and country, development of individual talents and modes of expression and emphasis on strict discipline and codes of conduct set in the ethos and traditions of each school.
Eminent Educationist

4) SCHOOL CULTURE

  • Teaching of Bible Knowledge in the curriculum not just for examination
  • An aesthetic and clean environment – care for the environment.
  • A culture of excellence and hard work
  • Emphasis on the improvement of the English Language and the National Language

5) ICONS

  • School badge/Motto/School song/School building/School
  • Houses named after saints/school benefactors
  • School magazines to reflect ethos…to have Bible verses,
  • Christian poems, etc; original names must be retained
  • Christian Icons and artefacts
  • Commemorative plaques and boards displayed

6) SPECIAL EVENTS

  • Celebration of Founder’s Day / Remembrance Day, etc
  • Religious Emphasis Week and prayer services (during Easter/before examinations, etc), respect for other religions, observance of Good Friday
  • Christian/universal prayer at school assembly, Speech Day, grace before meals
  • Chapel services
  • Blessing and dedication services for new additions to school building, commemorative plaques for this purpose
  • Thanksgiving services

7) CLUBS AND SOCIETIES

  • School Christian Clubs (Christian Fellowship, Young Christian Students and Catholic Students’ Society, etc).
  • Boys’ Brigade or Girls’ Brigade as a uniformed body in the school

The ideals of the Christian Mission Schools as expressed in their school badges and school songs have built a bond between generations and nurture an esprit’ de corps that is difficult to define. The school Houses named after inspirational leaders and the observation of special days in the school calendar has helped pupils to focus on positive goals that has stood them in good stead all through life.
Mrs Gloriosa Rajendran

8) SELF-RELIANCE

  • Tradition of community involvement in raising funds for the school
  • Donations and Fund-raising activities a norm e.g. Canteen Day, Fun Fair, Job Week, Walkathon, etc.

CONCLUSION

The government of the day recognizes that mission schools are a valuable asset to the nation. It is in the nation’s interest to make all mission schools succeed. The success and survival of Christian Mission Schools in Malaysia means the success of our beloved nation.

We owe our success to our school!
former students