SIS Silver Anniversary Transforming Education For 25 Years And Beyond
Written by Jaspal Sidhu
SIS Group of Schools, Founder and Chairman
25 years ago, standing on the soccer field of the most expensive school in Indonesia I asked this question: “Why is quality education in the hands of one group of society?”
And so the SIS journey began.
In 1996 the first SIS school was established with the help of my alma mater Raffles Institution (RI). RI, as it is commonly known, is Singapore’s premier and oldest school. It was established in 1823. Its alumni includes Singapore’s Founding Father Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
As the reputation of the first SIS school grew in South Jakarta, there were calls for more SIS campuses across Indonesia. In 2004, we went into a strategic partnership with the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) after a rigorous and robust review of our academic standards and best practises by experts from Washington D.C. From the initial footprint in Jakarta, we established schools in major cities in Sumatra as well as other cities in Java. This was followed by calls for SIS campuses in other countries. Today we are also in S. Korea, India and Myanmar. And still the calls continue for more SIS campuses in Indonesia and other parts of the world.
Our success comes from a clear focus on the 3 P’s of running a good school; Program, Place and People.
There is no doubt that our Program is one of the best in the world as it encompasses several world class curricula with clear learning outcomes. Our student learning outcomes centre around Perseverance, Collaboration / Communication, Analytical Thinking and Entrepreneurship / Innovation (or PACE). Our projects aim to solve real world problems especially as we are now committed to 8 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Goals (or UN SDGs). Our technology helps to simulate the learning environment through Virtual Reality.
On Place, our schools look to have eco-friendly infrastructure and highly stimulating learning spaces. Our school buildings today reflect our values, culture and brand as well as our intention with making a positive impact on the environment.
For People, I am proud to say we have one of the best teams in place at our schools and support office. Our educators are the reason why SIS is a popular choice today in cities where we are. Our leadership subscribes to best practises and keep a constant focus on the well-being of our faculty and students. Our parents play an active part in the learning journey of our learners.
Today, our students are going to some of the top universities in the world like Imperial College, National University of Singapore, UCLA, UBC to name a few and they achieve above world averages in international benchmark exams.
Every year, every SIS school is raising education standards not only in our own schools but also in the community around us through public-private partnerships. Our best practices and good governance earned us a call to help in an initiative by IFC (World Bank) and Harvard University to develop a set of principles called “Ethics in Education”.
In 2019, SIS was internationally recognised for the transformational work we do in education and we were recognised by UK’s Financial Times and IFC (World Bank), and awarded the global award for the transformational work we do in education. Earlier this year we were named by Capital Finance Inc in London as the best educational institution in SE Asia for the impact we make in the region. And our success story is told in world conferences.
As I stand and look back at the last 25 years, I can see why we are standing strong. We have had our fair share of challenges, but the sincere and earnest motivation of everyone in SIS to make quality international education affordable and accessible has made this brand a very popular and successful one in Indonesia and the region.
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are all conscious that education is the key to help improve the health and livelihood of any society. Access to quality education can also help to improve economic and financial lifestyles of citizens and set the prospects of future generations, especially in developing countries.
As I look beyond, I can see SIS continue to play a role in shaping the face of education in communities all over the world especially where a SIS flag will be flying.
Our journey must continue to be an impactful one because…I always believe “If you are sitting on something good, you need to make that good available to the largest number of people in the best possible way”.
Happy 25th anniversary SIS.
Founder and Chairman