Posts Tagged ‘GPS’

MANNERS AT THE TABLE

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The worst thing that can happen in a dining experience is if someone acts like a boor at the table. Face it: no one wants to associate with someone who slurps through the soup, makes a sandwich of the dinner roll, or talks to everyone at the table while chewing. It is a complete turn-off, which automatically closes all doors of opportunities.  A pig at the table becomes an unwitting victim of etiquette bullies, who take utmost delight in pointing out the mistakes. I witnessed such an event years ago when I was a still a journalist in Singapore. I was at a dinner function and next to me was an American lady who, I learned, was casually sizing up people based on what they’d do with the dinner roll.

“You know how to eat the roll!” she gushed just as I took a bite of it.

She continued: “You know how to tear it into small pieces and butter them unlike those across the table who cut it in the middle and spread butter.”

Flabbergasted, I just looked at her even after she handed me her name card that said she was some sort of an etiquette expert. I flashed her a wry smile and continued to ignore her the rest of the evening.

That incident is not a nugatory one. It smacks of a high-handed attitude of a know-it-all towards the ignoramuses, and which blatantly ignores context. Dinner buns, after all, are not compulsory in an Asian dining setting.  Asians do observe dining etiquette. Seared into my memory, I pushed for holding a seminar on western dining etiquette for teenagers when I went back to teaching. I felt strongly they must be armed to the teeth when they venture out of their homes and it begins with dining etiquette. It took several tries to finally get it right. There was always something going amiss. For instance, one time the organizer was a drifter who conned us into believing they could hold such a seminar (imagine – they had no cutlery!). The other time the organizer didn’t serve food after the seminar, saying it wasn’t part of the package we paid for (she didn’t tell us it was a separate payment for the food!).

 

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Pak Vino (right) and Pak Cecep how to fold the napkin to wipe the mouth

 

 

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time for the first course – salad

 

But this year everything fell into place with the help of the staff of Aston Imperial Bekasi Hotel & Conference Centre. Under the tutelage of Pak Vino, Food and Beverage manager of the hotel, the grades 7 and 8 students of the Cambridge Preparatory Classes of Global Prestasi School (GPS) were lectured on the dos and don’ts of western dining etiquette. The program included a brief lecture on its history followed by the very detailed rules in, for example, using the cutlery, eating the dinner roll, sipping the soup, using the napkin to wipe the mouth, body posture during eating, the plate codes, when to start eating, proper and improper attire, leaving the table to go to the restroom, behaviour for both men and women, and many more.  The students were immediately tested on what they heard from Pak Vino – they sat through a four-course lunch that included a beef salad as an appetizer, mushroom cappuccino with garlic crouton for soup, chicken cordon bleu as the entrée, and Imperial crispy banana with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

 

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napkins on the lap

 

 

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ready to tuck into the main course

 

 

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waiting for everyone to get served the main course

 

 

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buttering their dinner rolls like a pro

 

 

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helping out to demonstrate how to hold the fork

 

 

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dessert – Imperial crispy banana with vanilla ice cream

 

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the entree – chicken cordon bleu

Prior to the seminar, the students were treated to an inside look at the hotel as they visited the various departments and sections of Aston Imperial. It was a good way to introduce them to the hospitality industry. Who knows? Some of them might end up as executive chef, food and beverage manager, head of housekeeping, executive manager, or general manager of a property in Indonesia or overseas in the not-so-distant future.

It was a sight to behold my students all looking grown up in their formal wear. There was pre-dining etiquette seminar briefing on what to wear and what not to wear. There were a lot of whining and groaning when they heard that sneakers, jeans, t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops were not considered appropriate attire for the seminar. Furthermore, I had to remind the ladies to practice walking in their heels if they intended to wear heels.

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They’re all looking so grown-up.

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a post-seminar picture of grade 7A with their goodie bags and their homeroom adviser, Mayang (second row, extreme left)

The table manners seminar for GPS was held on March 3. The four-hour-plus affair saw the hotel buzzing with activities the moment the parents dropped off their children who went home with goodie bags after. Screams and giggles floated through the lobby when everyone saw what each one was wearing.  But inside the Dynasty meeting room on the second-floor seriousness punctured with episodic laughter reigned as they navigated through the intricacies of following the dining etiquette outlined by Pak Vino. Rounding off the good experience was being told that the students were very well-behaved.

Additional photos by Mayang Anestia

 

 

YEAR OF THE ROOSTER

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the barongsai at Global Prestasi School

It never grows old no matter what happens or what people say. Every time I hear that the troupe will be coming to Global Prestasi School (GPS) to usher in the Chinese New Year, I am always filled with excitement. The barongsai, as the dragon or lion dance is called in Indonesia, never fails to ignite this child-like enthusiasm in me, banishing morose thoughts temporarily. The moment I hear that they’ve arrived, I’d drop what I’m doing and run to the main grounds of GPS to get a good spot to watch those colourful, swirling dragon-lions.

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one of the dragon-lion prepping for the dance

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This year is my year. According to Chinese astrology, I was born under the year of the rooster and if it’s your animal that is the ruling animal of the year, you are in for one auspicious year. To know that lady luck is your constant companion for a year – she won’t be making her presence greatly known until after 12 years – does one’s spirits more than some good. You feel this overwhelming sense of confidence commingling with positivity which leads to a general sense of well-being. Simply put, a force field of positive energy has been placed around you thus any sad or tragic news thrown your way by fate is met with more gumption than fear.

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It was not like I was cowering in fear all throughout the 12 years lady luck was just hovering at the periphery as another animal took centre stage.  Looking back, several years were indeed fraught with tension and grief, but those years galvanised me taking me out of the rut I was in. I was admittedly chary – am still am – but those years prepared me slowly to take on the world again. One can say it prepared me for the year of the rooster, the year I see as the year of splendiferous moments and glorious feelings.

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WONDER TWINS

“Some of the students were wondering why I was going into your office so early in the morning,” she narrated with a chuckle when I got into my office. She had texted the previous night asking permission to hang out in my office if she got to school early. I agreed to it, telling her to make herself comfortable even if I wasn’t in yet.

The very idea of Kelcy Gotama entering my office was absolutely unthinkable. It’d be a nightmare for students who are not enrolled in the Cambridge Preparatory Classes (then called International Program) of Global Prestasi School (GPS). Yet here was Kelcy sitting nonchalantly in my office. Without her telling me about the students’ reaction, I could have guessed what others thought: she had flipped her wig and gossiped about as being a teacher’s pet. The situation we were in was reminiscent of my time with her brother, Kelvin, who graduated from the IGCSE Preparatory Class three years ago. Like Kelcy, he remained dauntless in conversing with me. Actually, the siblings became spokespersons of their respective classes, asked to lobby for an extension of a deadline, move an exam date, or ask questions they were afraid to ask.

“So, what brings you to school?” I asked, sitting behind my desk.

“We have a briefing about our farewell party at 8am, but I’m an hour early. Some students were really incredulous when they saw me entering. Actually, some think you’re my favourite teacher.”

“Favourite? Why?”

“It’s because I talk to you.”

“Oh. So, talking to me makes me your favourite teacher?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowing.

“Yes.”

“Odd. We’re just conversing. They can talk to me too if they wanted to.”

The first time I saw the Gotama siblings, on separate occasions, their features belied their relationship. They were the spitting image of each other! Or, putting it another way, they were the female and male versions of each other. That they were indeed siblings was sealed when I glimpsed their identical candidness: both didn’t shy awake from asking questions or putting forward an opinion or fact – a characteristic that certainly went against the grain. They were uninhibited in that way, which put them in my good books, but elicited raised eyebrows from their classmates who were unforthcoming.

Kelcy Kelvin and Liana_ a welfie

Naturally, a welfie after the graduation of Kelcy is in order.

Further nailing their ties was their assiduity, which could only – pardon the cliché – warm the cockles of my heart. No complaints came from the wonder twins, as I had taken to call them secretly, who completed all the worksheets, projects, and whatever was given to them to fulfil the requirements of their English class. These requirements – insightful and creative at that – were handed in always a few days before the deadline! Moreover, speaking before their classmates or any group of people or to persons of authority was almost second nature to them; their presentations weren’t mediocre, too. What I found astounding was their dogged meticulousness: they paid close attention to my corrections so I wasn’t subjected to amending their silly mistakes repeatedly.

They may have been similar, but they were their own person, too. Kelcy is an art aficionado (she won an art competition held by the Japanese embassy in Indonesia) who read and dabbled in graphic design, and, at one time, played the violin. Meanwhile, big brother was into graphic design and gadgets, completely drawn to the scientific wonders of the universe, and reading Edgar Allan Poe. But their collective wonder twins’ prowess was never more obvious than during Kelcy’s graduation on June 11.

Kelcy & Karyssa on graduation day

Kelcy with classmates Karyssa (right) and Liza (left) shortly before the start of graduation

Wonder twins blazed the academic halls of GPS. Ninth grader Kelcy graduated top student in GPS’ Cambridge Preparatory Class (then called International Program) and grabbed second place as the second highest achieving student in the national exam. By the same token, Kelvin was the top IGCSE student garnering three A*s, and the top student achiever when he graduated from grade 12. Now, both shared centre stage as a graduate (Kelcy) and guest student speaker (Kelvin). Kelcy also delivered a speech on behalf of her class right before her brother, shifting effortlessly from Bahasa Indonesia and English, like her brother during his turn.

It’s not every day that siblings who went to the same school and graduated years apart take centre stage together in a night. The feelings surging through me as I sat inside GPS Theatre was hard to pinpoint. At first, it was a throwback to my childhood days of the Wonder Twins who were so in synch in thinking and demeanour except this time they were on stage addressing a crowd of parents and peers. Then I felt a wave of pride engulf me: they have transmogrified into mature and rational individuals. Next, I felt a tinge of sadness (is this what parents feel?) as I gazed at them – they were no longer children. Kelcy is an incoming GPS IGCSE Preparatory Class student and Kelvin is a second-year med student (international program) at the prestigious University of Indonesia.

Kelvin Kelcy and Liana_post grad op

Another photo with the Wonder Twins – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Lastly, a flood of happiness overwhelmed me. Just like the blue moon, it’s not a regular occurrence when wonder twins deconstruct teaching as a thankless profession.

THE SINGER

“Are you watching Fortals, Miss?” enquired Amanda, her eyes beaming with anticipation.

“Yes, I am. However, I am not quite familiar with the singers,” I said.

“You should go, Miss,” urged Amanda, “You should watch Teza Sumendra.”

“Yes, Teza Sumendra, Miss. He is good!” piped in Bagus, a classmate of Amanda, who, like her, was obviously an admirer of the young Indonesian jazz-R&B singer.

That he is a good Indonesian jazz singer was all I knew of him because that phrase was what people were throwing at me every time talk centred on the featured artists at Fortals Jazz Festival. To recapitulate, Fortals is an annual music festival organized by the senior high students of Global Prestasi School which kicks off with inter school futsal and basketball competitions and culminates with a concert featuring Indonesian singers and bands. This year’s Fortals focused on the jazz genre for the concert.

The screen is as close as you can get to Teza Sumendra if you are nowhere near the stage.

The screen is as close as you can get to Teza Sumendra if you are nowhere near the stage.

Piqued by the fervid recommendation, I searched through YouTube to get a glimpse of Teza Sumendra. It was one jaw-dropping discovery, which stoked my eagerness to watch him live on stage. His deep, gravelly voice is a definite head turner: it stops you in your tracks and beckons you sexily to face him and listen to him. It is as if the world suddenly disappeared, leaving only the two of you. His cover of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” was astonishing. Each word rang clearly thus the message was transparent. The video where he sang a duet with Indonesian song bird Raisa was cute, to say the least. It never crossed my mind that a jazz version of “Once Upon a Dream” , the main song from Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”, could actually be possible and, surprisingly, vitalizing. In the midst of marking papers, I suddenly was gripped with the urge to waltz through my office. Then there were his terpsichorean skill that was sharp and smooth.

That Teza was going to be one of the guest artists at Fortals Jazz Festival (held last October), alongside Maliq and the Essentials and Abdul and the Coffee Theory, was something to really look forward to. And there was no prize for guessing who won over the hearts most of the young concert goers – Teza Sumendra was their idol of the night, who rocked the stage with his vibrant covers of trending pop songs (think Bruno Mars, Niki Minaj et al), his own compositions, and definitely brought the house down when he danced to Silento’s “Watch me Whip” with his band, The Stepbrothers and Stepsisters.

Teza Sumendra and The Stepbrothers hit the stage at Fortals Jazz Festival 2015 to ear-splitting screams

Teza Sumendra and The Stepbrothers hit the stage at Fortals Jazz Festival 2015 to ear-splitting screams

I was in complete agreement when a friend blurted out, “OMG! He can sing all night or just stand there. I wouldn’t mind at all!”

Actually, I was a couple of steps ahead. I was thinking of him being my wake-up call.

Fortals Jazz Festival was more than two months ago and I still find my thought drifting back to that fantastic night. Teza was pure entertainment on stage who, on hindsight, took me back to Filipino singer Gary Valenciano. Christened Mr. Pure Energy, Gary’s vivacity in performing on stage was unparalleled. Like Teza, he could sing and dance with relative ease and agility. The Man could move, groove, rap, and croon! The only difference between the two, I surmised, is the vocal quality – Teza has a deep, throaty voice compared to Gary’s higher timbre. Nonetheless, both electrified the night, making each second pulse with enthusiasm.

(Photography by Yana)

GODS ON STAGE

I belonged to a generation that preferred to stay behind the scene of a production. The very thought of facing an audience was nerve-wracking and intimidating. However, the generation of students at Global Prestasi School (GPS) take to the limelight like fish to water. There are still the shy students of the International Program (IP) who, like me, adamantly remain behind the curtains, but majority are very much at home strutting their stuff on stage. There is still the usual cajoling – bordering on threatening – for some to take the roles, but convincing isn’t that difficult. Peer pressure usually does the trick and the reluctance eventually turns into commitment to the roles.

The stage before opening night of "Of Gods and Mortals"

The stage before opening night of “Of Gods and Mortals” (photo by Sarah Huinda)

This year’s IP production was titled “Of Gods and Mortals”, a concept that was ruminated upon by the old theatre team and brought to life by this year’s re-energized crew. The point was to veer away from the commonplace variety show format of song-and-dance built against a flimsy storyline. Literature primarily mythology and epic became the anchor points of the scripts that the IP students worked on with a little help from the IP-English teachers who laid out the structure. Thus “Of Gods and Mortals was born: Looking at the past, before the supremacy of science, there was a distinct line between the gods and mortals. Life was simple: the deities did not tolerate the insubordination of people thus repercussions were expected, which were swift, with any act of defiance. In one of the most well-known mythologies, Greek mythology, the Olympians walked the Earth as humans and behaved like humans. They were petulant, narcissistic, irascible – name all the feelings of humans and the Greek deities exhibited them – and yet they demanded complete fealty. However, they weren’t exactly benevolent or reciprocal in their dealings with the mortals that they greatly pressed loyalty from. Similarly, in Egyptian mythology, the gods and goddesses assumed human form, walked the earth, and ruled ancient Egypt – as pharaoh – with the same tenacity as the Greeks. Analogously, the Hindu epic Ramayana, which has been adapted by Indonesia, the lives of deities and mortals were entwined in a saga of human values, war, defiance, brief reconciliation, and knowing one’s place. Meanwhile, the mortals tried to live as piously as they could amidst the vicissitudes of life. Their end goal was to lead peaceful lives vis-a-vis the omnipresent deities who had no qualms in wreaking havoc at the slightest whim. They knew their place in the hierarchy of life and abided by the dharma or divine rule.

Dress rehearsal: Isis telling Osiris her plan to dethrone Ra. (photo by Theresia Sabono)

Dress rehearsal: Isis telling Osiris her plan to dethrone Ra. (photo by Theresia Sabono)

December 12 was premiere night and Global Hall was filled to the rafters. Interest was stoked and curiosity piqued when the posters and banners started surfacing in and out of school weeks before the play date. The BBM group of the parents of the elementary students fuelled the fire of interest greatly with their incessant texting about the tickets – “Have you gotten your ticket?”, “Are you buying platinum (Rp200, 000) ticket?” – and suddenly tickets were selling like hot cakes. Tension, commingled with excitement, was mounting as premiere night drew near. Nerves were getting frayed as last-minute efforts were made to ensure everything was working – microphones, lights, sounds, and projector – and in place like the pillars on stage, the banner across the stage, and props within easy grasp of the actors. Then only a few hours were left before show time.

A scene from Parade of Gods and Goddesses - Isis and Osiris plotting against Ra

A scene from Parade of Gods and Goddesses – Isis and Osiris plotting against Ra

Sinuhe (foreground) does a fight dance in The Adventures of Sinuhe

Sinuhe (foreground) does a fight dance in The Adventures of Sinuhe

Showtime was exactly at 6pm much to the surprise of some of the audience. Unknown to or ignored by others, an IP production always starts on time. The mandatory prayer was delivered by grade 7A student, Hanna, which segued into the national anthem sang by sixth grader singing sensation Morei accompanied by the elementary violin ensemble. The hosts, Raine and Gisele, both from 7A, kept the crowd abreast of what was happening on stage aside from serenading them, together with Hanna, with a song from “Le Misérables”. And then “Of Gods and Mortals” premiered, opening first with Of Gods and Mortals and ancient Egyptian mythology and tales The Parade of Gods and Goddesses by grade 9A followed by The Adventures of Sinuhe by grade 8B.

The national anthem led by Morei, singing sensation from GPS Elementary, with the violin ensemble

The national anthem led by Morei, singing sensation from GPS Elementary, with the violin ensemble

Hosts Raine (left) and Gisele (far right) sing with their friend, Hanna

Hosts Raine (left) and Gisele (far right) sing with their friend, Hanna

The saman dance group of junior high take to the stage

The saman dance group of junior high take to the stage

Prior to the second act, choral speaking (or reading), was inaugurated in GPS. Picture a group of students on stage looking like a choir but they’re not going to sing. They are going to recite and act out literary pieces such as grade 8B’s performance of The Adventures of Sinuhe. The audience saw more of the choral speaking from grades 4 and 5 IP students. Naturally, singing, like playing badminton like a pro, is in the genes of Indonesians, so grade 8 students Karis, Lukas, and Khansa took to the stage with a song from Radiohead after.

Act 2 showcased Lord Ram and Hanuman from the Hindu epic Ramayana played by the elementary IP students followed by Greek mythology – Olympians vs. Mortals by grade 7A and Pandora and Ilk by grade 8A.

It's the elementary students' turn to shine in "Lord Ram and Hanuman".

It’s the elementary students’ turn to shine in “Lord Ram and Hanuman”.

A battle ensues between the Olympians and mortals in "Olympians vs Mortals"

A battle ensues between the Olympians and mortals in “Olympians vs Mortals”

The cast of "Pandora and Ilk" go through the final scene of their performance

The cast of “Pandora and Ilk” go through the final scene of their performance

“Of Gods and Mortals” ended three hours later to a rousing curtain call with everyone, actors, crew, and audience, moving to “Twerk it like Miley” (a unanimous choice by the students), and hamming it up for the numerous cameras flashing left, right, centre, and above.

Time for the final bow for "Of Gods and Mortals"

Time for the final bow for “Of Gods and Mortals”

A photo op for the IP team with the Director of GPS, Pak Widodo (in batik shirt)

A photo op for the IP team with the Director of GPS, Pak Widodo (in batik shirt)

(Photography by Samuel Jeruel | Additional photos by Theresia Sabono and Sarah Huinda)

PAR-TAY!

IMG_0361End-of-school parties are ubiquitous for this generation of junior high and senior high students. And malls are very much in the black during the scorching months of May and June when boutiques have hordes of teenaged girls going through their racks of RTW dresses and trying on endless strappy stilettos to see which pair would go with the chosen attire for the farewell party. Let us not forget the hair salons that are booked solid for hair and make-up sessions. Rayon from Hair Code at Grand Metropolitan Mall had back-to-back sessions during the last week in May.

Farewell party is what the end-of-school parties are commonly referred to in Indonesia. It also doubles up as a prom which you only get to know about when the Prom King and Queen are announced. Unlike two decades ago, there is no David Pomeranz’s “King and Queen of Hearts”, the unofficial anthem of proms in the Philippines, playing in the background when the announcement is made.

The junior high unit of Global Prestasi School (GPS) kicked off June with fun and entertainment. The outgoing grade 9 students decided on holding their farewell party titled Verenigen Hastha, or the eighth batch, on the first day of June at the Cinema XXI Lounge. My apprehension was all for naught, as the venue proved to be more than fitting. It was, in fact, perfect. Traditionally, hotels in Jakarta are the preferred venues for reasons that are associated with the words grand, classy, and formal. Given the exorbitant price tag that is attached to renting a ballroom or a room smaller than a ballroom, the principal, Yulie Tan, broke away from tradition and challenged the committee members of the farewell party to scour every nook and cranny of Bekasi for a suitable and reasonably priced venue. Who said GPS students are ones to walk away from a challenge? They meet them head on and with panache.

Verenigan Hastha in full swing

Verenigen Hastha in full swing

Getting the par-tay started

Getting the par-tay started

Cinema XXI Lounge is inside Mega Bekasi Mall, one of the malls within close proximity to GPS. On a good day (read: no traffic), a taxi ride is a breezy 20-25- minute ride. It’s even breezier if you take the local transport angkot and cheaper. At Rp3, 500 – 4,000, you’re at Mega Bekasi in 15 minutes. For parents picking up their children after the party in the evening, it’s not a taxing drive from home to Mega Bekasi unlike when the pickup point is in Jakarta which usually spells a two or three hour plus ride back and forth depending on the traffic.

The lounge is spacious – one doesn’t feel hemmed in – that a fun photo booth fits in perfectly within the floor area of the lounge and which was buzzing with adults and students hamming it up for their keepsakes. The stage at the centre has a huge screen that was clear and the sound system was in tip-top shape. None of the musicians had to spend minutes tuning their instruments; there were no embarrassing microphone problems; and the videos screened brilliantly.

Proud teacher - my students taking to the stage

Proud teacher – my students taking to the stage

A common bugbear for people who are organising parties is the service crew. They can be blatantly incompetent and indifferent at times. But, much to my surprise, the Cinema XXI Lounge service crew was in fighting form. No glass was left half filled; the chafing dishes were never empty and cutlery were not lacking; chairs were cleared for students when needed; and courtesy was the order of the night.

Food can make or break a party and, fortunately, the buffet table at Verenigan Hastha was a cornucopia of culinary delights fit for gourmands. Indonesian cuisine is always something to feast on but when you see them in the cafeteria every day, it becomes commonplace. Not this particular buffet table – it was a fusion of European, Western, and far-from-ordinary Indonesian dishes from appetiser, main course to dessert.

And they danced through the night

And they danced through the night

As a guest, the transformation from roguish to respectable impressed me. Unabashedly biased, I was bursting with pride at seeing my students at the forefront of the affair as committee members, emcees, party hosts, and performers, who brimmed with glittery aplomb all night. They also cleaned up, I noted.

EXAM TIME

The second semester is quite taxing and nerve-wracking for students of Global Prestasi School (GPS) particularly those working towards dual leaving certificates. GPS offers dual certification for those students interested in studying overseas, say, the UK, Australia, and the US. Apart from enrolling in the government-mandated syllabus that all students are required to go through to earn their leaving certificates from junior and senior high, GPS has set up an international program department that offers classes beginning from the Cambridge Flyers program to IGCSE for qualified students to enlist in.

IGCSE students batch 2015 - drilled endlessly with sample question papers and tempered to be resilient and emotionally strong.

IGCSE students batch 2015 – drilled endlessly with sample question papers and tempered to be resilient and emotionally strong.

Exam time is truly a stressful period for the students enrolled in the dual certification program. Imagine the butterflies that swarmed in the tummies of the grade 12 students when they sat through their four-day national exams last April – getting good marks in the exams, after all, is a prerequisite to getting into a prestigious university in the country. Now, increase the swarm of butterflies and picture how the grade 10 students are feeling right now. Their exam period lasts for more than a month; it started in April with the 15-minute oral examination then there’s a one-long respite before the battery of written exams for Maths, English, Computer Studies, Physics, and Chemistry commences. In total, the grade 10 students would have sat for 15 exams on top of the exams of the 11+ subjects they have under the national syllabus. Their “agony” will end in the first week of June when they sit for the last paper in Computer Studies. But the reprieve from the frazzled nerves is temporary as the wait begins. This waiting is for the results of their IGCSE exams which won’t be available until August.

On the flip side of the coin are the teachers who are equally overstretched with training them before the exam period. Come exam day, they also double up as invigilators who must see to it that the rules of invigilation are implemented to the letter as well as face the inspector (it’s a different one every year) from Cambridge who comes for a yearly visit to see if the set standards are met. Exam time is a day of reckoning for both student and teacher. The former will have to prove their mettle – academic and psychologically (i.e. Will they buckle under the pressure or hold steadfast?) – while the teachers will know if what they had discussed over the 10-month period in the classroom are correct and relevant.

Invigilator reporting for duty

Invigilator reporting for duty