Sunway International Schools: Nurturing Minds, Building Character
Mr. Heath Kondro | Sunway International School
Mr. Heath Kondro | Sunway International School

Singapore and Malaysia have emerged as major education hubs, which offer excellent academic and career development opportunities to the students. These countries provide students with the best educational and infrastructural facilities, which help them to grow into better professionals. The prominent schools of both countries leave no stone unturned to guide the students towards bright career pathways and help them shape their future.

One such noteworthy school in Malaysia that is taking every step to gift the students with lasting academic experiences is Sunway International Schools (SIS). Established in 2008, it is staffed by qualified and experienced teachers who are accredited by the Ministry of Education Ontario (Canada) and/or receive ongoing training and professional development as prescribed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). This ensures the school provides students with a native English-speaking environment and a real Canadian school experience.

Canadian education has been part of the Sunway Education Group for 31 years. Initially, it started with a one-year university preparation/matriculation programme at Sunway College. However, with time, the school was established, and now it offers the Canadian and International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula. SIS is now in its 14th year of operation and has two campuses in Malaysia – one in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur and the other in Sunway City

Iskandar Puteri in Johor.

Excellent Educational Facilities

SIS follows an Ontario-based academic curriculum, which is a very progressive and modern approach to education. There are various types of assessments for students, not simply a paper and pencil test at the end of the term. Every student is different and should be provided with opportunities to demonstrate their learning and understanding in various ways. The management believes that schools need an approach to education that will prepare students for future careers, not only with content, but with skills such as communication abilities, problem solving, and resiliency.

SIS’s IB programmes are world-renowned programmes known for their ability to prepare students for success in university and beyond. Like the Ontario approach to education, it is a progressive curriculum that requires students to think critically, be reflective, and be open-minded. The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is offered at SIS Sunway City KL while both the IB Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme are offered at SIS Sunway City Iskandar Puteri. SIS Sunway City Iskandar Puteri is also a candidate school for the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).

Cutting-Edge Infrastructure Conducive to Learning

SIS believes in staying updated with the latest technologies while providing lasting experiences to the students. All classes are multimedia-oriented, and the school provides access to many tech tools for students’ learning. As part of the Sunway Education Group, it has access to facilities such as university-level labs and library resources as well as pools, a gymnasium, and an athletic field. SIS Sunway City Kuala Lumpur’s new campus, which will open in January 2023, will have all the existing facilities as well as some specifically designed rooms for subjects such as music and drama.

The Recipe of Success

The triumph of Sunway is based on several factors and groups rather than one individual taking the lead. It has a school administration team that works exceptionally well together and is connected to all aspects of the school. The admissions department establishes strong connections with parents and families as they are the first point of contact when someone reaches out to the school.

SIS’s academic leadership team is made of several highly qualified teachers and administrators with many years of experience. The teaching staff has always played an essential part in the school’s success as they work with students and parents every day to ensure the development of every student.

The Focused Leader

SIS is delivering excellent educational and infrastructural facilities under the visionary guidance of Mr. Heath Kondro, the Principal of the Sunway City KL campus. He holds a Bachelor of Education and two Master of Education degrees in Technology and Administration Leadership, all from the University of Alberta. Now in his 20th year of teaching, Mr. Kondro has taught World and Canadian History, Economics, and Communication Technology in Malaysia and first-year university courses in Canada.

His administrative background includes five years as Technology Director in Bolivia, and Vice-Principal in a middle school in Vietnam, Student Affairs Coordinator, and Deputy Principal and Principal of Sunway International School (Sunway City KL campus). Mr. Kondro’s primary responsibilities are oversight of academic priorities and initiatives, management of all staff, overall student welfare, and ensuring compliance with the International Baccalaureate Organization, Ministry of Education Ontario and the Malaysian Ministry of Education policies.

Ensuring Excellent Learning Outcomes

SIS’s learning objectives address the content and knowledge to prepare students for university and beyond. The school management believes that it is equally important to have students equipped with skills such as resilience or creativity that will prepare them for careers that might not even exist today. The Canadian approach to education integrates STEAM into many subjects, noting that subjects should not be taught in isolation from each other but with cross-curricular aspects. This ensures that the different aspects of STEAM are implemented and integrated into various courses by the teachers during a student’s time in the school.

Making a Mark in the Arena of Education

In its quest of achieving academic excellence, SIS has made many noteworthy achievements. The school has developed itself from within. It conducts a national poetry slam supported by the Ministry of Education Malaysia called the Sunway National Poetry Slam™ (SNaPS™). It is also proud of its sporting championships. The school has made numerous achievements internally. It has also established a very strong relationship with the Canadian High Commission and the Malaysian–Canadian Business Council.

However, for Mr. Heath as a principal, the biggest accolade does not come from a trophy or external bodies; it comes from the parents when they speak confidently about the school. It makes him happy when the children achieve academic success and enjoy school as well. “Having a parent advocate positively for the school is an important vote of confidence and tells us that we are accomplishing our goals as a school,” states Mr. Heath.

Transition to the Ed-Tech Front

SIS’s shift to the digital space was quite smooth as it was already a laptop and Google Education school. For several years, it has had various supports, such as a staff technology

coach and several Google certified educators. The school’s staff have been proactive in expanding their learning and have acted professionally to share it with their colleagues.

Mapping the Future

Mr. Heath expresses, “Even with the uncertainty of the current times, the foundation that we’ve built our school upon using a solid, progressive curriculum and employing an excellent

teaching staff remains”. Marching ahead, the school intends to provide an excellent education for every student. With its new campus opening in January 2023, Sunway is well-positioned for continued growth and student success.

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