by Christine Teo, Principal, EELC
How long does it take to birth a school? The gestation period of a baby is nine months, but in the case of ElShaddai E-Learning Centre (EELC) it is a grand total of six months. From seeing how fast the children are growing up and out of the school system in ElShaddai Refugee Learning Centre (ERLC), and desiring to offer them some accreditation that will stand them in good stead in future, the team at ElShaddai Centre envisioned a school that will prepare students for the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), an internationally recognised Cambridge-based examination.
The vision was cast, but where to find the space, the facilities, the teachers…? To these legitimate questions, they could only shake their heads and give a unanimous “We don’t know!” But there is no stopping God once He found willing workers. One thing followed another. A place was found within walking distance from ERLC where the school buses drop the students every morning. A contractor came to renovate, equip and furnish. Then the teachers came on board, one by one. By the time 3 January came along, the school was ready to welcome the pioneer batch of students, 39 in all.
In great excitement, they lined up and followed their teachers in crossing three narrow but busy streets, and climbing up the stairs to the second storey of a three-storey shophouse in Little India, Klang. The first week of orientation went by in a blur of activities, with housekeeping thrown in. In the midst of setting goals and settling in to their new environment, the students met their English, Math and Science teachers who enthused them with creative and fun activities to stimulate their interest in the subject. It was also a great time of bonding for all.
The week after marked the start of their classes. The students are streamed into two ability-based classes for each subject. Their eagerness to learn and make good progress was palpitating, energising the teachers and making their task all the more fulfilling.
The journey has been an amazing one for all, seeing how individuals, by pooling their resources together, set about a miraculous multiplication that turned vision into reality against all odds. It is still early days yet and the school may show signs of a premature birth. Yet like premature babies who thrive under tender loving care and adequate nourishment, it will grow stronger and go on nurturing the future generations. With the empowerment that comes from the almighty one, transformations will take place. Transformations of minds, of hearts and of the human spirit; touching families, society and nations. It is awesome just thinking of the ripple effects that can evolve from just one small step, one small school.