It was in early November last year when the news came in. It was a photograph of a letter bearing the letterhead of the North-East District Education Office, with the notice that three convent schools in Penang would cease enrolling new students. And it quickly went viral.
The letter, addressed to the principals of SMK Convent Light Street (CLS), SMK Convent Pulau Tikus (CPT) and SK Convent Light Street, was brief. In two lines, it said the phasing out followed a request from the Provincial Secretariat of the Sisters of the Infant Jesus (IJS) – the landowner of the schools.
Although within inner circles and among convent alumnae, the idea of certain convents being converted into private institutions had been thrown around for years, official confirmation of such a move still came as a surprise.
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