Keat Hwa Secondary School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

吉 華 中 學

Jíhuá Guómínxíng Huáwén Zhōngxué

Sekolah Menengah Keat Hwa

Kuala Kedah Road
Alor Setar, Kedah

6°05′50″N 100°21′28″E / 6.097303°N 100.357824°E / 6.097303; 100.357824Coordinates: 6°05′50″N 100°21′28″E / 6.097303°N 100.357824°E / 6.097303; 100.357824
Type Conforming
Motto 礼义廉耻 (Honesty and Honour)
Established 1911
Founder A group of local Chinese
Status Cluster School of Excellence
School district Kota Setar
School Type Chinese Secondary School
Oversight 13 acres (53,000 m2)
Board of Directors Dato' Teoh Boon Beng DSDK, PJK, JP
Principal Mr Wong Ghee Hong
Teaching staff 130 approx.
Nickname Keat Hwaians
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 2500 approx.
Campus Alor Setar
Colour(s) Red, Blue, White, Yellow                 
Nickname Keat Hwa
Rival Sultan Abdul Hamid College
Accreditation Cluster School
Yearbook 筑梦无惧•逐梦无悔 (2017)

Keat Hwa High School

Keat Hwa II Secondary School
Medium of Language English, Chinese, Malay
Main Feature The recognition of the mother tongue education - the Chinese Education
School Code KEB2094
Keat Hwa Secondary School
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning Keat Hwa Middle School
Malay name
Malay Sekolah Menengah Keat Hwa

Keat Hwa Secondary School (simplified Chinese: 吉华国民型华文中学; traditional Chinese: 吉華國民型華文中學; pinyin: Jíhuá Guómínxíng Huáwén Zhōngxué; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Keât Huá tiong ouk) is a cluster Chinese high school in Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia which provides quality secondary education.[1][2][3][4]

It was founded in 1911, making it one of the oldest schools in Malaysia. It has an area of 13 acres (53,000 m2). Keat Hwa Secondary School is widely known as Keat Hwa in the region, and it is one of the only 78 Chinese conforming[5][6] (national-type) secondary schools in Malaysia.[7][8][9]

One of the features which makes the Keat Hwa Secondary School special from other typical secondary schools in Malaysia is that all students with Chinese primary school background are required to learn Chinese language (中文) and to sit for Chinese language examination (华文科) in major examinations like Lower Secondary Assessment (初中评估考试) and Malaysian Certificate of Education (马来西亚教育文凭) or the MCE.

The principal of the Keat Hwa Secondary School is Mr Wong Ghee Hong , with five vice-principals; Admin - Mdm Tan Mooi ; Student Affairs - Mdm Lee Kuen Chin ; Co-curriculum - Mdm Sim Paik Hong ; Sixth form - Mr Ching Kang Beng; Afternoon session - Mr Tan Ching Sin.[10]

As opposed to other typical schools that are directly managed by the government, the Keat Hwa Secondary School has its own Board of Directors which manages the school properties. The current (2011-2013) Chairman of the Board of Directors of Keat Hwa Secondary School is Dato' Teoh Boon Beng DSDK, PJK, JP.[11]

In 2011, Keat Hwa Secondary School was awarded the Cluster School of Excellence status (卓越学校) by Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) or the Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia.[12] Keat Hwa Secondary School is also said to be the best secondary school in town. And in 2011 itself, Keat Hwa celebrated its 100th anniversary with three-day celebration seeing more than 35,000 Kedah Chinese and exstudents/alumni around the world participating in the events.[13][14][15] The Keat Hwa 100 celebration is also being recorded in the Malaysian Book of Records.[16]

As a Chinese Secondary School, the teaching of Science and Mathematics are in English. Following the announcement of the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Education Minister, on 4 November 2011, the Keat Hwa Secondary School would have the options to teach Science and Mathematics fully in English, Bahasa Malaysia, or bilingually. However, majority of the parents wanted their children to be taught Science and Mathematics in English.

Today, Keat Hwa Secondary School has about 2500 students from lower secondary and upper secondary to the sixth form, with more than 136 academic staffs and about 20 supporting staffs.

Chinese Education (Mother-tongue Education)[edit]

As Keat Hwa Secondary School is a Chinese secondary school, Chinese language is a compulsory subject for all students with Chinese primary school background. Unlike other schools, student do not need to stay back after schooling time to attend Chinese language classes as the Chinese language lessons are arranged in the standard timetable. The mother tongue education in Keat Hwa Secondary School is one of the most successful ones in Malaysia.

School Anthem[edit]

As Keat Hwa Secondary School is a Chinese school, and over 90% of the students are Chinese Malaysians, the school anthem is, unlike other schools in Malaysia, in Mandarin Chinese.[17] The school anthem is also used in five (5) other Keat Hwa Chinese Schools namely the Keat Hwa II Secondary School 吉华国民型中学(二)校, Keat Hwa Chinese Independent High School 吉华独立中学, Keat Hwa (H) Primary School 吉华小学 H 校, Keat Hwa (K) Primary School 吉华小学 K 校 and Keat Hwa (S) Primary School 吉华小学 S 校.

School Motto[edit]

Like all other Chinese schools in Malaysia, Keat Hwa Secondary Schools has its own School Motto.[18] The school motto was originated by Chiang Kai-shek (蒋中正 aka 蔣介石) in the 1930s. Most of the Chinese schools around the globe use this as their school motto, so does Keat Hwa Secondary School. The School Motto has not been altered or changed ever since then. It has been used for more than 80 years, and it is still in use.[19]

School Magazine[edit]

Each year, the school publishes its very own school magazine. The school magazine published annually is informally called the 吉華校刊. It has always been the tradition that the cover of the school magazine changes with the different theme every year.

A special edition magazine was published in July 2012 in celebration of the 100th anniversary. The magazine is 588-page thick with a thick cover. It was sold at the Popular Bookstores nationwide. The title for this magazine is '吉华人•吉华情•吉华心'.

Keat Hwa Centennial Celebrations[edit]

Keat Hwa celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. A centenary celebration committee was set up prior to the celebration by the Keat Hwa Alumni Organization. The committee is fully in-charge of the celebrations with the co-operation from the school authorities. A series of events were organised throughout the year, culminating with a 3-day celebration, to mark this auspicious year for Keat Hwa, from 28 to 31 July 2011.

The 3-day gala event was held at the Keat Hwa Secondary School compound. Besides exhibition booths, there were several other unique and meaningful events organised.[14][15][20] Among the huge events are the Grand Festival, Grand Dinner and the Grand Expo. Other events include the celebration of Mooncake Festival by all the six Keat Hwa schools, singing competition, torch relay, Chinese cultural activities and, most importantly, the celebration of Chinese education in Malaysia.

The 3-day event successfully attracted more than 35000 students and alumnus from all over the world. The centenary celebration marked a milestone of Keat Hwa and showcased the success of the Chinese community in fighting for their own Chinese education, mother-tongue language and culture. Besides, the celebration was able to collect donations to set up an Education Fund for the usage of Keat Hwa schools in the coming years.[21]

Grand Festival[edit]

Grand Festival (大庆典) was one of the biggest events of the celebrations. The Opening Ceremony with the participants of more than 1000 students, consisting different clubs and societies, uniformed units, Boards of Directors from 6 schools and also the alumnus of Keat Hwa. Before the opening ceremony, a parade was held where all the teams marched from the oldest school building, Keat Hwa (S) to Keat Hwa Secondary School. The parade was the only major procession held in the city of Alor Setar in the last few decades to celebrate the anniversary of a school. The journey was roughly 5 kilometres and it caught the attention of the citizens of Alor Setar. Some even joined the parade which ended at the Keat Hwa Secondary School. The whole journey was held successfully with the help of the Malaysian police and the paramilitary civil volunteer corps controlling the traffic in the city.

A torch tower was designed and built for the Opening Ceremony with more than a million can tabs weighing more than 1100 kg. The preparation of the torch tower involved the participation of all students, teachers and alumnus of Keat Hwa Secondary School. The achievement was recorded into the Malaysia Book of Records.[22]

Grand Expo[edit]

Grand Expo (大博览) was another huge event in the 3-day celebration. Besides booths, there were performances such as Chinese Orchestra, Wushu, cheer leadings, street dances, concerts and night markets, which added colour to the spirited celebration.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Najib Razak also attended the opening ceremony of the Grand Expo. Together with him included the then Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, the then Minister of Housing and Local Government, Dato' Chor Chee Heung and the then Home Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Hishammuddin Hussein. Other government officers were also present.

Grand Dinner[edit]

Grand Dinner (世纪宴) was the final event of the 3-day celebration. The dinner was held on the final day of the celebration at the Dewan Wawasan, Jitra. The dinner was attended by more than 2500 Keat Hwa alumnus from all over the world.[14][23]

One of the peak event during the dinner was the performance which included more than 100 students from 6 Keat Hwa schools. The performance was to showcase the 100 years of Keat Hwa through drama and dance.


Keat Hwa Secondary School was first established in the year 1911 after a name change from Chung Hwa School.

21st century[edit]


In 2007, Keat Hwa(K) which shared the same school facilities with Keat Hwa (H), moved to its own new premise while Keat Hwa (H) remains in the same location.


In 2011, Keat Hwa Secondary School was honoured the Cluster School award.[24][25]

And in 2011 itself too, Keat Hwa Secondary School celebrated its 100th anniversary.[26] The preparation of the celebration was featured in Astro's Ben Di Quan and MalaysiaKini[27] The preparation includes a number of events being held from the beginning of the year till the three-day celebration.

One of the events is the making of a dedicated album which covers 10 songs written and composed by Keat Hwa alumni and students. One of the songs being covered in the album is by St. John of Keat Hwa - 'Only Us'. The making of the 'Only Us' was again featured in MalaysiaKini[28]

On 28 July 2011, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak visited the school for the celebration of Keat Hwa 100 Years. Najib Razak, during his speech, urged vernacular schools not to be ungrateful as their existence was due to the support given to them by the current ruling parties and coalition - Barisan Nasional.[29]

The three-day celebration of 100 years establishment saw more than 35,000 exstudents/alumni and parents participating in the event.


Keat Hwa Secondary School has more than 2500+ students, making it one of the best Chinese Secondary Schools in Malaysia with high passing rates and high number of students who scored excellent results in general examinations. This success is largely attributed to its merit-based selection of students from primary vernacular education. Entry requirement for acceptance into Keat Hwa Secondary School is relatively high compared to other schools. Keat Hwa Secondary School had won the Sudler Shield Award for their performance at the 2016 World Championship of Marching Show Band held on August 2016.[30]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Keat Hwa Secondary School,
  2. ^ Keat Hwa celebrates 100 years
  3. ^ Keat Hwa gets cluster school status, The Star: Northern
  4. ^ Malaysia Facts Book: Keat Hwa Secondary School
  5. ^ There are two different types of national-type schools, Chinese and Tamil, as seen in the news report, The Star Online
  6. ^ Differences between a national school and a vernacular school (national-type school), and an international school
  7. ^ More info about Chinese conforming schools can be found here, SMJK Education Portal
  8. ^ List of SMJK throughout Malaysia
  9. ^ Chinese schools report increase in enrolment as Dragon Year students enter secondary level,
  10. ^ School staff directory
  11. ^ List of Members of the Board of Directors
  12. ^
  13. ^ Recap video sharing the best moment of the celebration.
  14. ^ a b c News in Keat Hwa High School's Campus News.
  15. ^ a b News in Kwong Wah Yit Poh
  16. ^ News in AcTimes.
  17. ^ Official Website showing the lyrics of school anthem
  18. ^ Official school website: School Motto
  19. ^ Latest school motto on official website
  20. ^ YouTube video recaping the best moment of the celebration,
  21. ^ Keat Hwa celebrates 100 years of existence:
  22. ^ Keat Hwa enters into the Malaysian Book of Records: AcTimes
  23. ^ 100 years celebration, Kwong Wah Yit Poh
  24. ^
  25. ^ As reported by
  26. ^ 100 years celebration
  27. ^ Preparation of the celebration featured in
  28. ^ The making of 'Only Us', being featured in
  29. ^ Don't be ungrateful, vernacular schools told - Najib Razak's speech in Keat Hwa Secondary School.
  30. ^ "Kedah's SMJK Keat Hwa wins world marching band award - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  31. ^ The Star (Malaysia). Thoroughly modest miss Archived 21 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.

External links[edit]