JB Convent schools in dire need of upgrade

THE buildings of the nearly century-old Infant Jesus Convent Johor Baru are in a state of disrepair.

SMK Infant Jesus Convent board of governors chairperson A. Oliveiro said the movement control order imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic had left the primary and secondary school buildings as well as surrounding facilities in dire need of upgrading.

Both schools require repair and restoration work — from the roof to the electrical wiring system, fittings and sewerage, she said.

“The original building was constructed in 1926 and underwent numerous extensions and improvements over the years.

Infant Jesus Convent Johor Baru secondary and primary schools’ floors often get wet due to leaking roofs, posing a danger to students and staff.Infant Jesus Convent Johor Baru secondary and primary schools’ floors often get wet due to leaking roofs, posing a danger to students and staff.

“These constructions were done on a piecemeal basis, often by different contractors.

“It is time we look into the entire structural aspect of the buildings such as the wiring, because the circuit breaker trips frequently,” she added.

Oliveiro, who is also Convent Johor Baru Past Pupils Association chairperson, said the septic tanks too were old and needed upgrading.

She noted that the roots of a big tree had damaged the concrete slabs around the septic tanks.

Meanwhile, leaking roofs lead to rainwater wetting the staircase and corridors, which poses a hazard to students and teachers.

“We are appealing for financial support from former students for the upgrades that will cost about RM1mil.

“We hope donors will contribute generously as the repairs are urgent,” said Oliveiro.

The schools sit on a piece of land in Jalan Yahya Awal, which was presented by Sultan Sir Ibrahim and his consort Sultanah Rogayah to the founding nuns in 1926 when news of their quality of education caught the royals’ attention.

Sultan Sir Ibrahim also presented the schools with a marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary which can still be seen today.

Notable Johor personalities who graduated from the school’s early days of co-educational curriculum were the Kuok brothers — Philip and Robert — as well as former prime minister Tun Hussein Onn.

Later it became the first all-girls school in Johor Baru and produced prominent leaders such as Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Adibah Amin and the late Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah, who was the wife of second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

Those wanting to donate can contact the association’s treasurer Song Eng Fong via WhatsApp at 017-790 1530.

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