A Brief History of Sultan
Iskandar Muda School
Twenty-four years ago, a Chinese
youth from a village named Sunggal, had a dream. If Martin Luther King in the
U.S. dreamed that one day black people could have equal rights with other white
men, a dream of this young Chinese man wasthat poor children could attend good
But how could it be,Sofyan? You yourself are poor and the
school was built using money from bank loans. Only rich people can realize your
Such responses are often buzzing in his ears. The late Raja Inal Siregar,
Sarwono Kusumaatmaja, and Lieutenant General (Ret.) TB Silalahi are a few among
many who are pessimistic of Sofyan’s ambition to realise such dream.
This young Chinese Sofyan was none other thandr. Sofyan Tan, the person who held
this dream. Despite the pessimism shared by many people around him, the young
Sofyan did not give up. Blood just swished his youth, and his emotions
overflowed – he was challenged to realise the dreams and doubts of people.
Gradually, the development of this "dream project" began. It started off
withSofyan Tan went to a notary office in Medan. He made a notarial document of
the establishment of the Foundation of Sultan IskandarMuda School (YayasanPerguruan
Sultan IskandarMuda –YPSIM) on 25th August 1987. After the document came out, he
contacted some of his closest friends and made negotiations with some building
material shops, including builders.
"I am looking for loans and debt of building materials," he said innocently.
Almost a year he was struggling to build the school of his dreams. In April
1988, a total of 11 classes for learning and administrative activities of the
school were completed.
The school is located in a site, tucked at the end of the Bakul alley, Sunggal
Village, Medan.Sultan IskandarMuda School building stands on the paddy field
that can no longer be utilised, spanned approximately 1,500 m2.The land was
purchased from sellingSofyan’swife jewelleries and wedding gifts. During the
operation in 1988/1989, the number of students was 171 people who mostly came
from underprivileged families, living around the Sunggal village. The number of
teachers was only 15 people and school facilities were still very limited. The
library did not exist, let alone laboratory.
Despite being hit by multiple "storms of life", he did not stop fighting. His
school was in a huge debt in a private bank.In the first few years, he could not
repay the instalment credit – not even the interest of the loan. This situation
was expected as the limited educational fees from students were often
insufficient to pay teacher salaries and cover operating costs. Teacher salaries
were often delayed up to two weeks.
Many students also postponed the payment of their tuition fees. The reasons
behind this delay varied – some of these students’ parents suffered long-term
illnesses, failed in their businesses, got laid off, etc. Despite these
financial issues, Sofyan insisted not to dismiss a student just because their
parents suddenly went poor.
Do not cry over poverty
"Do not let poverty hamper children’s rights for education," Sofyan said. Hedoes
not want any student cries over their poverty.According to him, storms in lives
can be conquered as long as there is a determination to reconcile them!
Being a dreamer like himself, he is blessed by God with lots of creativeideas.
To overcome the storm, Sofyan went to a number of businessmen and state
officials to seek support for his school that educates poor children so that it
could survive. He also came out with a movement to touchthe hearts of
philanthropists to become foster parents and help paying school fees for poor
students in his school. Some international NGOs that are in line with the vision
and mission of the school have given generous donations for the development of
facilities and infrastructure of the school, suchas Caritas Switzerland and Pan
Twenty-four years since YPSIM was established, on August 25th2011 the dream of
Sofyan Tan has finally come true. The Sultan IskandarMudaschool now has two
computer laboratories with modern and sophisticated technological devices.
Computer room is equipped with internet facilities and audio-visual media. The
language laboratory has 68 (sixty eight) units of tape recorders and headsets
for the purpose of English, Japanese and Mandarin language practices. The
Science laboratories (physics, chemistry and biology) are also equipped with
advanced practical tools - inauguration of which was done by Yohanes Surya, one
of Indonesianbrilliant physicists, as well as the president of Indonesian
Physics Olympiad Team (TOFI).
Other facilities offered in the school include a music room completed with the
band equipment, green school canteen offering healthy food with decent price and
WIFI facility to make internet accessible to students, a library with a fairly
wide range collection of more than 10,000 books and magazines, community-based
radio and shuttle bus for students.School buildings are also quite tall,
comprising of four floors. YP SIM is currently supported by 126 teaching staffs
holding D3, S1 and S2 qualifications and non-teaching staffs. The total number
of students in 2011 has reached 2246 , where 204of whom are foster children
having free tuition.
|Students Are Requested To Follow Heroic Spirit(18-09-2011)
|The spirit of independence can be taken by the students through education. As the next
generation and future leaders, students should be able to follow the spirit of
heroism of the heroes. By the spirit of education, students are expected to be
able to change the fate of this nation to be better someday
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|YP.Sultan Iskandar Muda Distributes Rice and Hospitality in Medan(18-09-2011)
|The Head of
consultant of Sultan Iskandar Muda (YP. SIM), Dr. Sofyan tan invited a hundred
poor people and foster children to be diligent in praying to God so that their
lives can change in the future
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|24th Anniversary of the Institution of Sultan Iskandar Muda, the Goverment of North Sumatera supports Foster Children program of Sultan Iskandar Muda (18-09-2011)
|The Government of North Sumatra through the Department of Education supports
foster children programs that is initiated by Dr. Sofyan Tan to invite all
children from different economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds to school.
Read More >>