REASON TO REJOICE: Thousands mark Foon Yew chain of educational institutions’ 99th anniversary
JOHOR BARU: THE Foon Yew chain of education institutions celebrated its 99th anniversary with pomp and gaiety at the Foon Yew High School in Stulang Laut, Johor Baru, last Friday.
About 4,000 pupils and students from the SJKC Foon Yew 1 to 5, the Foon Yew High School (main campus and and Kulai campus), and the Southern College gathered at the school field as early as 7.30am to usher in the celebration.
The Foon Yew High School is the largest Chinese independent high school in the country and the largest Chinese secondary school outside China. The Southern College was accorded university college status recently.
The board of directors of all the Foon Yew institutions were present to witness the celebration, which started at 8.15am with the singing of Negaraku, the school anthem, followed by speeches from, among others, board chairmen of the respective institutions, and the reading of the school covenant.
Foon Yew Primary Schools board chairman Dr Cheng Chean Chiang said the Foon Yew chain of education institutions had turned into an "educational village" widely accepted by the Chinese community.
"We have survived every toil and every snare in the past 99 years because of the determination by our academic staff in delivering the best education to our students, and the financial assistance by many philanthropists.
"By focussing on the three major languages -- Chinese, Malay and English, our students are as competent as those from other schools," he said.
Foon Yew High School board chairman Tan Wee Hiong said 6,200 Foon Yew pupils had enrolled for the entry examination on Aug 18 for the 2012 intake in Foon Yew High School, which is 20 per cent higher than last year.
"As we are facing the problem of high demand for too few places over the years, we are embarking on a school building fund drive for expansion as a long-term solution to the problem.
"The demand shows the confidence of parents on what Foon Yew could offer for their children in terms of Chinese secondary education," he said.
Also present at the celebration were Southern College board chairman Datuk Teo Ah Kiang, Foon Yew High School principal Koh Chong Sim and Foon Yew Alumni chairman Liew Hup What.
The highlight of the event was the cutting of two cakes in the shape of 99 to mark the anniversary celebration.
The cakes were later distributed to VIPs, teachers and students.
Pupils from five primary schools and students from two high schools later thrilled the audience with traditional performances.
The Foon Yew High School (main campus) presented the 24-season drum performance. Their pulsating drum beat and the waving of red flags under the blue sky lifted the mood of the audience.
Students from its Kulai campus showed their synchronised marching band performance.
The SRJK Foon Yew 1 and 2 amused the audience with their acrobatic spinning top performance while SRJK Foon Yew 3 kept the audience entertained with their rhythmic modern dance beat.
The ground floor of one of the classroom blocks was packed with people taking part in the fun activities and games for the two-day celebration. Organised by students, the games were aimed at raising funds for the school.
One of the interesting games was a simulation version of Running Man, a South Korean variety show, which requires the participants to run and answer questions at stops along the way. The winner will get received a Bigbang concert ticket for the show in Singapore on Sept 28.
Visitors took may take photographs at the Magic Land which had plenty of balloons and ping pong games. Winners walked away with toys and souvenir items.
The One-Minute Survival required participants to complete seven games in seven minutes while the Game Over featured eight creative games.
Visitors were able to buy food and drinks, proceeds of which were for the school building fund.
To make the camp more meaningful, nine Chinese physicians offered free medical service to visitors.