Convent Johor Bahru Calls on Past Students to Fund Major Repairs

Time to dig deep into your pockets and help in whatever way you can

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The concrete that covers the sewerage tanks in the Primary School is already cracked [Foreground] by the roots of the nearby tree

The long periods of lockdown in 2020 and 2021 had left the buildings and compound of both the Primary and Secondary Schools in the IJ Convent Johor Bahru in a sad state of disrepair.

The original building of the Johor Bahru Convent school is almost 100 years old and in urgent need of major repairs.

Convent Johor Bahru Calls on Past Students to Fund Major Repairs
Mrs A. Oliveiro pointing to the ‘Caution Wet Floor’ sign postered on the first floor of the Secondary School building

The school is appealing for financial support from past pupils both local and abroad, to raise funds for the urgent needs that will amount to some RM1 million.

Chairperson of the JB Convent Secondary School’s Board of Governors, A. Oliveiro, who is also the Chairperson of the JB Convent Past Pupils Association said, “Both the Primary and Secondary Schools will require a proper assessment for repair and restoration work from its roof, electrical wiring system to fittings and the all-important sewerage system.”

Convent Johor Bahru Calls on Past Students to Fund Major Repairs
Old-fashioned electrical switches and a wiring system that needs upgrading in the main building

The electrical wiring in the Secondary School is a priority as it is old and urgently needs a proper assessment for upgrading.

“The original building that was constructed in 1926 had numerous extensions and improvements made, as the need arose over the years. These construction jobs were done on a piecemeal basis, often by different contractors who built over the previous job, to the best of their ability.  Now it is time to re-look at the entire structural aspects of the building, especially the wiring system for both the Primary and Secondary Schools.  Electrical trips are frequent and are especially trying during examinations, student assemblies and events,” said Mrs Oliveiro.

“The sewerage/septic tanks that support both schools, are very old and are in urgent need to be upgraded as the widespread roots of a nearby big tree had damaged the concrete slab built around it and is threatening the stability of the sewerage tanks, “said Elizabeth Ann Louis, the Chairperson of the JB Convent Primary School’s Board of Governors.

“The roofs and ceilings of the Primary School need major restoration, particularly in the School Hall where rainwater splashes into it causing leaks and puddles of water at the staircase and nearby corridors where it poses as a danger to students to walk on. The same situation has also occurred at the upstairs section of the Primary School when it rains, and with many of its windows damaged and in danger of falling off.”

Convent Johor Bahru Calls on Past Students to Fund Major Repairs
Upstairs corridor in Primary School wet with puddles of rainwater

The Secondary School building is similarly affected when it rains due to the poor state of roofs and ceilings as puddles will collect on the corridor close to the Science Laboratory and other areas, with slippery floors that will endanger teachers and students. Plants have also grown into the roofs, cracked the concrete and gutters, and it needs to be removed soon.

Convent Johor Bahru Calls on Past Students to Fund Major Repairs
Staircase wet with rainwater leaking through damaged roof and ceiling

The piece of land at Jalan Yahya Awal where the JB Convent is located was presented by Sultan Sir Ibrahim and his consort, Sultanah Rugayah to the founding Sisters in 1926 when news about their impressive quality of education caught their attention. Several years later, Sultan Sir Ibrahim also presented the school with a marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary that still stands at the school’s façade today.

Convent Johor Bahru Calls on Past Students to Fund Major Repairs
IJ Convent Johor Bahru, Jalan Yahya Awal (image courtesy of SK IJ Convent JB FB)

In 1926, construction of the school building started with a grant of $25,000 provided by the state government and funds donated by generous benefactors.  Subsequently, additional classrooms were constructed in a multi-storey building in 1960 which is now the premises of the Secondary School.

Some notable Johor personalities in the JB Convent school’s early days of the co-educational curriculum were the Kuok brothers, Philip and Robert, as well as Tun Hussein Onn.

Later when it became the first all-girls school in Johor Bahru, the JB Convent continued to mould and mentor exemplary women in our society including former International Trade and Industry Minister, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, literary legend, Adibah Amin, and wife of Tun Razak, our second Prime Minister, Tun Rahah Mohd Noah.

To this day, the tradition for excellence lives on and the JB Convent has earned achievements and a prestigious reputation in education and co-curricular activities over the years, producing successful professionals whose skills and talents are contributing positively to society.

“Physical school is scheduled to start again soon and the appeal for funds is urgent.  We sincerely hope that well-wishers, donors and particularly, the alumni of JB Convent would contribute generously,” said Yvonne Loh, a Member of the JB Convent Secondary School’s Board of Governors who initiated the ‘CALL OF CONVENT’ Building Repair social media fund-raising initiative.

“Contributions should be made in favour of the JB Convent Association of Past Pupils who would then disburse the required sums to the Board of Governors in the Primary and Secondary Schools for the necessary repairs.”

Bank Account Name: Persatuan Bekas Penuntut Sekolah IJC JB

Maybank Account Number: 501123120629

Swift Code: MBBEMYKL

Reference (Transfer Slip): Convent Calls

*Donors are required to send proof of transfer by WhatsApp to the Treasurer, Song Eng Fong at +6017 – 790 1530.