Thursday, 26 July 2007
Maktab Perguruan Sandakan
In May 1974, some 80 youngsters marched up a hill off Mile 1.5 Jalan Labuk, Sandakan to start their life a trainee teachers. Thirty six of them were selected for the secondary school's course while the remaining 46 to be trained as primary school teachers. I am, of course one of them, I took a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan, the first time ever I had gone into an aeroplane.
Maktab Perguruan Sandakan (MPS) was new then, the third in Sabah, the others being Maktab Perguruan Kent (MPK), Tuaran and Maktab Perguruan Gaya(MPG) in Kota Kinabalu.I had in fact applied to be trained at MPG.
Being a new institution, this group of 80 were the first batch. We built our own badminton court, gelanggang sepak takraw, created out own garden and all the other facilities. With just RM30 monthly allowance (RM2 deducted for the student union), we were able to live happily, no complaint. With that amount of money, Aman Sirom Sambuna bin OKK Tarantab from Kota Belud was able to save up to buy a typewriter which he is still using now.
MPS was declared open by then Education director general Tan Sri Haji Hamdan Sheikh Tahir on May 21, 1974 which was also attended by Sandakan Resident Datuk Ben Stephens and Sabah education director Omar Hashim.
The two years course ended November 1975 and I started teaching the following year at SRK Sualok, Beluran, then about three hours boat ride from Pekan Beluran, that if there was boat going up. At times one have to sleep at a `rest house' in Beluran to wait for boat. I did not last long, after eight months, packed my bags and left for good, from Beluran and the teaching profession. I became a journalist. And the rest is history.
Why am I writing about this? Because on Aug 25, 2007, there will be a reunion dinner in Hotel Juta, Keningau to be organised by the MPS' second batch trainees. Invitations were also exended to us, all 72. Yes only 72 now as seven had been called to rest with the Creator - Asmin Damit, Duali Azin, Mahadi Nurajin, Abdul Rahim Samila, Suhaili Maraman, Fatimah Abu Bakar and Mursidi Abdullah.
Patron of the coming reunion dinner is Datuk Haji Sairin Karno, one of the second batch trainees. He is now the State Assemblyman for Liawan. Invitation are also extended to all ex-trainees of MPS.
For the record, MPS is no more. It had been closed and move to Tawau. It sad but during a reunion dinner organised by the first batch in Kota Kinabalu on Aug 19, last year, its organising chairman Christopher Jacob said, and I quote:
"It not the institution or the physical structure that keeps the alma mater alive. It is us, our hopes, aspirations, deeds and actions that would keep the MPS Flag flying high."
Further information: Nora Anggas - 0168448546
at 9:30:00 a.m.