Congratulations IBDP@MCKK Cohort 7

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Congratulations, IBDP@MCKK Cohort 7! You guys made us proud for delivering an excellent performance!

The IBDP@MCKK received accreditation from the International Baccalaureate Organization on 16 May 2011 (thanks for my birthday gift). The first cohort of students began classes in July 2011. It was a tough challenge in the beginning, since program approach was very different from what the teachers were used to. Nevertheless, they persevered, working real hard to ensure the program’s success.

Besides preparing the students to meet the academic requirements of IBDP, the teachers, together with the school stakeholders, had plans to ensure the students also acquire good characters and values; learn soft and life skills; expose them to various people and environment, both local and abroad… these efforts are also above the guidelines and requirements in the IBDP.

During their 2-year sojourn in the program in MCKK campus, the student life is roughly balanced – one-third spent on academic; one-third for rest and personal chores; while the other one-third for co-curriculum, sports, Creativity-Action-Social activities, as well as discovery & exploration initiatives.

Since the IBDP@MCKK operates within a residential school, the students have to adhere to the strict rules and regulations of a government boarding school. However, from the beginning we decided to relax a few rules, since we feel these are matured students and it’s time for them to be responsible for themselves. They were always reminded to be disciplined, maintain decorum, and be accountable for their actions.

We exempted them from sending their clothes to the school’s designated dhoby; we provided them with washing machines in the utility room. During the first cohort, one student complained it’s troublesome to do the laundry, because it took 40 minutes of his time until the laundry was done… we explained, just sort your clothes into the machine, and press a few buttons, then go do something else, come back after 40 minutes to hang the clothes… thus the student learned how to do laundry, time management, multi-tasking, organizing works, discipline, bla, bla, bla…

Last year, we added a pantry room… the students learned to use the microwave. Occasionally, we subtly recommend an activity for the students to experiment doing things. For instance last year, I suggested the cohort 7 boys to organize a barbecue party, provided them a small budget for a party of about 70 pax. They planned and distributed works among the cohort team members – figuring out raw materials to purchase, budgeting, marketing, learning and experimenting recipes from google. Then came the problem solving part – preparing a barbecue pit for grilling, since budget was limited to purchase a ready-made grill… the wannabe-engineers came out with a smart idea of using an old large pot, ensuring air holes to facilitate burning, and modifying pit; learning to prepare salad and dressing, making coleslaw and whipped potato that tasted like KFC, and many other experiences… frankly, I gave them an A for the project!

There were many other new things the boys experimented during their 2-year struggle to complete the program. And yet they enjoyed the experiences.

And after 8 years of the program existence, the 7th cohort of IBDP@MCKK delivered a very good result: with 100% passes; MCKK average Diploma point 35.36 vs World Diploma average 29.62. With 24% of MCKK students scoring 40 points and above, placing them among the top 10% of all IBDP students worldwide.

Bravo, gentlemen… all the best in your future endeavours.

And, of course, well done to the dedicated teachers/facilitators.

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