Imperial – Ipoh and Proud of it!

Imperial International School seeks to embed itself as a community-based institution with its ‘You Belong Here’ campaign. 

‘Pampered’. ‘Molly-coddled’. ‘Elitist’. These are but some of the negative stereotypes that still abound among some Malaysians about international school students despite the proliferation of private education centres in the last decade. Though it is no longer the privilege of the well-heeled, there remains a perception that international school students are cut off and detached from their surroundings; being cocooned in overly comfortable environments breeding a sense of entitlement among these children. 

Trying to buck this perception is Imperial International School, Ipoh (Imperial) which aims to position itself as a community-centric institution. “Imperial is very proud of its Ipoh roots,” declares Renita Simmunjalam, Marketing and Admissions Manager at the school. “This can be seen from our ‘You Belong Here’ campaign which seeks to immerse students and staff in many community programmes in the city.” 

Some of the city-led initiatives that Imperial has involved itself with include Ipoh Car Free Days,MSSPK ( Majlis Sukan Sekolah Perak),  which encouraged parents and kids to car pool or use public transportation. Not only was the campaign aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Ipoh, it was a useful reminder to students that they had an obligation to the environment. 

Other notable events included a pet adoption campaign in collaboration with Noah’s Ark. This campaign tapped into children’s natural love for animals to help find shelter for abandoned pets. The event certainly created a deeper sense of civic pride among students as they helped reduce the stray animal population of Ipoh.

Imperial’s recent school holiday programme is another example of its trying to build meaningful bridges between students from both private and national schools. Open to all, the holiday camp activities were designed to build social and communication skills among peers. Called ‘The Lost Valley of Chief Powhatans’ also featured a variety of activities that impart valuable life skills. 

“Having children learn basic life skills with their peers certainly help boost confidence,” says Renita. “Learning alongside their peers have also seen children make new friends from other participating schools during the holiday camp. This prevents them from being trapped inside an international school cocoon.”

More plans are afoot to have Imperial be much more involved in civic activities in its Ipoh, allowing it to grow its profile as the international school of choice in the silver state capital.

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