THE Chinese community has always revered education – a trait epitomised by the Khoo clansmen’s unyielding support to its members in their quest for know-ledge.
“When a clansman excels in his studies, the whole clan feels honoured that its member has achieved a higher social status,” Khoo Kongsi secretary Khoo Boo Hong said.
“We believe that even our ancestors would be proud of such academic achievements. Thus, the Khoo Kongsi became the first clan in Penang to provide free education for the clansmen's children way back in 1907.
“The school was called the ‘Two-grade Elementary School of the Khoo clan’ and classes were conducted at the clan house in Armenian Street,” he said.
Seven years after, four shop houses along Victoria Street were acquired to house the students and the school was renamed Sin Kang School after the clan’s ancestral village in China.
“In 1953, the school moved to its present premises in Jalan Thein Teik and when the area underwent rapid development, the school's population soared, prompting us to construct a three-storey building with 25 classrooms.
“Classes are conducted in the new building since December 1, 1993.
“The school produced many clansmen with strong leadership skills.
“Initially, school administration and syllabus were managed by the Kongsi. When the school was taken over by the government in 1958, SJK(C) Sin Kang was opened to the public,” he said, adding that the school re-mains an important part of the clan’s legacy.
“When we established the school, all the students were Khoos. Today, we are very proud that the school’s population has grown to include those from other clans,” he said.
“More than RM3 million had been spent on constructing and maintaining the building.
“We will definitely look into expanding with another double-story block if the student enrolment continues to increase.
“Sin Kang may be a public school but because the land and building belong to us, the Khoo Kongsi will always be there to lend a helping hand when-ever the need arises,” he said.
SJK(C) Sin Kang headmaster Ooi Ah Huat said the clan continued to provide for the students' welfare and give financial support for maintenance and to upgrade the school's facilities.
“Whenever we have major repair or renovation works to do, we would approach the Khoo Kongsi trustees who have always been very gene- rous and supportive of our students,” he said, adding that the school's aca-demic track record was very good.
“Our Standard Six students have been performing well in the UPSR and last year we had 23 out of 175 students getting 7As - the highest number ever recorded in the school's history.”