School Memoir in Kota Bharu
Islah English School was a very popular private school in Kota Bharu Kelantan at one time and now it no longer exists. The school had a good system of administration and pedagogue. It was divided into two sectors; one was independent [private] and the other was government. Private section was more distinguished. It had more students and staff. There were two different headmasters to admin the school.
Mr. S. M. Ishak was the longest and famous headmaster served in private section. He was a very strict and firm man I ever met. He made his rounds by walking along the corridor with a cane in his hand. I was in his English class while in form V and to me; he was the best English teacher I ever came across. He used to create jokes without smile on his face. However, he allowed class to roar with laughter.
Those days, most pupils cycled to school and we were not allowed to cycle abreast; it was against the traffic rule yet we liked that way. When I was in the afternoon session, I still remembered; on the way home, if pupils cycled in a single line meant the headmaster was standing by the road side in front of his house. He didn’t do anything just stood there and the children automatically obeyed the rule!
The school setup that time was; new pupils without knowledge of English joined Special Malay class for two years [SM I and SM II] then they entered standard six, SM I was equivalent to standard four. After std. six, pupils then joined form one and in form three they faced examination called Lower Certificate of Education [LCE]. Two years later, in form five they sat for final exam: School Certificate organized by University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate in collaboration with Ministry of Education Malaysia. The certificate was signed by Vice Chancellor. Those who obtained good results could apply for higher learning institutions or to sixth forms of other schools.
|Mr. S.M. Isahak the Headmaster|
|Syed Osman (Ed Osmera)|