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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

How Can An International School Benefit My Child?

Panel of Educational Experts | Kinabalu International School (KIS)

Many parents put a lot of thought and deliberation into choosing the right school for their child. In Kota Kinabalu there are various options available, including government schools, Chinese schools, private schools and international schools. All of these educational institutions employ different curricula and approaches to teaching that influence a child’s lifelong learning. If you have felt overwhelmed about deciding between the many schooling options, you’re not alone.

While each educational institution has its own set of advantages, international schools provide a unique edge to students. Consider the following advantages as you decide on which educational institution is right for your child:


Most international schools adhere to an internationally recognised curriculum, which often incorporates an appreciation of other world cultures and the development of essential skills, which are critical for today’s world of work.

At Kinabalu International School (KIS) we follow the English National Curriculum from 3 through to 18 years old. In our Early Years Department this is called Development Matters and it focuses on the major milestones that a young child needs to achieve before they can successfully continue their academic journey into Primary.

In the Primary and Secondary schools students are taught according to the objectives of the English National Curriculum, which prepares them to study for their IGCSEs at the age of 14 and their A Levels at the age of 16.


Typically, the learning environment in an international school provides smaller class sizes than government schools. At KIS we have high teacher to student ratios in classes, as well as additional in-class support from Teaching Assistants throughout the Primary School. This allows teachers to modify and tailor the curriculum to suit each child’s unique learning style and capability. Children all learn in different ways and having a teacher who can adjust their methods of teaching to benefit your child is essential.

Securing a place for your child in an international school that recruits only staff with internationally recognised teaching qualifications will ensure that your child receives a quality education. Teachers in an international school are highly experienced in differentiation. Teachers are able to support a wide range of individual learning needs in their lessons.

In international schools learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Field trips, residential trips, sports fixtures and competitions supplement a child’s in-school learning. At KIS students are encouraged to participate in trips, excursions and competitions within Kota Kinabalu and further afield.


International schools teach students an appreciation of world cultures and promote the development of strong bonds between students, staff and families who come from diverse backgrounds. Children benefit from these cultural experiences and learn how to work with people from all over the world. Many different festivals are celebrated in international schools and the children enjoy learning about their classmates’ diverse cultural heritages.

At KIS many of our students say that studying with peers from different cultures helps them better appreciate the world around them and gives them confidence in relating to people from other cultures and nationalities, thus helping them to develop as global citizens.


International schools include extra-curricular activities (ECAs) within their curriculum. These activities help children discover and develop new skills. For instance, at KIS students have the opportunity to join a wide range of ECAs each term. Ranging from creative and academic, to sporting and musical, the extensive ECA programme has something for everyone. Extra-curricular activities are a great way for students to work with others from a range of year groups and further support the development of essential skills.


Many businesses today operate on a global scale. Employers often look for individuals who have experience working with other cultures. Such individuals tend to be more effective when collaborating with people from various cultures.

Most students who attend international schools will also learn more than one language. At KIS English is the language of instruction used for all lessons. Children also learn Mandarin and, depending on the child’s nationality, they choose to learn either French or Malay. Many employers see multilingualism as a desired trait.


When considering which school is right for your child, gathering accurate information and experiencing the school for yourself is an essential part of the process. At KIS we welcome families to book appointments to visit the school, talk with our Admissions and Academic staff and see the school in action. We pride ourselves in supporting families at every stage of this important decision-making process.

If you would like to find out more about KIS please visit our website at: or call Ms Tina Koroh, Admissions Officer to book an appointment on 088 224526.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

A hole in the heart, toddler Nurnafisyah's Story

Real Life Story: 

A hole in the heart,
Toddler Nurnafisyah Jafarlie's Story.

Siti Nurnafisyah Jafarlie was only 4 months old baby when the doctor discovered she had ventricular septal defect (VSD) or commonly known as hole in the heart. “We were surprised, sad and heartbroken when the doctor informed us about her heart condition. Since she is our first child, we were very afraid of losing her,” said Siti Norihan Ibrahim.

Siti Norihan Ibrahim and husband Jafarlie Matusin have two daughters. The eldest is Siti Nurnafisyah Jafarlie and the youngest is Siti Nurnazihah Jafarlie. Siti Norihan work as an assistant chief cashier while her husband is a supervisor and they all live in Papar.

It was one of the regular review and vaccine day for baby Nurnafisyah. Suddenly, the doctor discovered an irregular heart beat. The doctor told Siti Norihan that her 4 months old baby may have a heart condition and advised her to take her baby for an ECHO scan. The ECHO scan allows doctor to clearly see any problem with the way the heart is formed or the way it’s working. After the scan, it is confirmed that baby Nurnafisyah has a hole in the heart.

A complete happy family, one year after the operation. From left: Jafarlie
(father), Siti Nurnafisyah, Siti Nurnazihah (youngest sister) and Siti Norihan (mother).

VSDs are quite common, varying from tiny defects such as a pinhole in size to much larger ones. Most children with hole in the heart may not have any major symptoms, but they may get easily tired, always sleeping or out of breath. Larger hole will require surgery to correct the defect.

Nurnafisyah was given medication soon after they found out about her heart condition. About 30% or more babies’ with small defects will close spontaneously during early childhood but Nurnafisyah is one of the 70% that did not.

By the age of 3, Nurnafisyah’s hole in her heart did not go away which made her mother determined to find another way to help her daughter's condition. The doctor that has been treating Nurnafisyah advised Siti to seek further advise at a private hospital. This lead Siti to meet Dr. Abu Bakar Mamat, a Consultant Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu Hospital.

After consulting Dr. Abu Bakar Mamat, they were given options for further treatment in Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu (Gleneagles Hospital) and they chose Kota Kinabalu after considering the logistics problems, travelling and undue stress of having to leave behind the rest of the family.

The operation was scheduled for their 3 years old toddler on the 21st November 2015 at Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu Hospital. Siti and her husband was very anxious and scared about the entire procedure as there are endless of risk and complication that may occur during the operation.

Five days after operation, Nurnafisyah lying in bed (centre) with her parents and
Consultant Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Abu Bakar Mamat.

Nurnafisyah’s open heart surgery was successfully conducted and giving a new milestone to Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu Hospital as the first private hospital in Sabah to perform paediatric open heart surgery locally.

Finally, Siti and her husband’s heart is also completed, relieved and happy. The successful operation may left a massive scar on Nurnafisyah but the entire family is happy that she is now a normal active child and doesn’t have to take any more medications. She has also started attending Kindergarten in Papar.

In Sabah itself, there are nearly 400 new cases of congenital heart disease diagnosed every year with up to 10 of every 1,000 newborns. An open heart surgery is a major operation and the medical expenses can amount up to RM60,000. Siti and her family could not afford the surgery therefore her case was proposed for the Khazanah IHH Healthcare Fund by the doctor.

Nurnafisyah’s hospital expenses were fully paid by the Khazanah IHH Healthcare Fund, which provides partial and fully-sponsored medical treatment to needy patients in IHH’s home markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey.

The hospital also to engage with the State Government to provide help to members of the local community who may require paediatric heart surgery.

“ Previously, most children with heart congenital heart disease had to travel to Peninsular Malaysia or abroad to get treatment. With the establishment of Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, we are now able to perform paediatric heart surgeries locally, giving a new lease of life, ” Dr. Abu Bakar Mamat, Consultant Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon.


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The Interview: Lissah Jack, Faith Wellness Centre

Lissah Jack, the owner of Faith Wellness Centre, mother of 2 daughters, love yoga, enjoy spending quality time with her love ones and a devoted wife to loving husband Nelson Campbell.

Q: Hi Lissah, can you tell us the type of services that Faith Wellness Centre is providing?

A: Our centre provides the latest technology of Infrared Sauna therapies without relying much on synthetic medicines. Faith Wellness Centre is the first centre in Sabah that comes with computerized system Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna by Sunlighten™. It is equipped with clinically-backed infrared heaters which aid in detoxification, blood pressure reduction, weight loss, pain relief and skin purification. In just a session of treatment with our Sunlighten™ Infrared Saunas, your body’s metabolism rate will be increased and the heavy metals absorbed in your body will be removed. Our
mission is to be the best wellness centre exclusively in Borneo Sabah, and in Malaysia, that promotes healthy living lifestyle through Infrared Sauna therapies without relying heavily on synthetic medicine.

Q: Being a busy mom, how can Infrared Sauna help us on our weightloss journey?

A: It’s simple. Studies have shown that benefits of aninfrared sauna session can burn up to 600 calories while you relax. As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories.

I would like to give my own testimonial of our Sunlighten™ Infrared Sauna. With a very tight and busy daily schedule as a full-time working mother, I do not have time for outdoor exercises and even for gym. So my solution is to have my sauna session twice a day – once before work and once after work. I can tell my body is getting lighter and fresher for work, and it changes my sleeping pattern. I can sleep very well at night now! Because of the spacious sauna, I can perform some light exercises like yoga while enjoying my sauna session. HOT YOGA, which is having yoga in a warmer space, has a lot of health benefits and help to lose weight in faster rate.

Q: No wonder you look fabulous even after 2 kids! What else can infrared saunas can do?

A: Thanks for the compliment, Stella! Well, another unique benefit I wish to highlight is that this treatment helps to prolong our life as it helps support those who suffer from fibromyalgia, arthritis,chronic fatigue syndrome and even autism. It’s also proven to help reduce blood pressure and stress. With regular treatment, you will feel better and your quality of life can be enhanced. And one more thing, Infrared saunas can help in the fight against childhood cancer. Thanks to their detox benefits, infrared saunas can help remove toxic chemicals and heavy metals, reducing body burden, enhancing the immune system and freeing the body up to better kill cancer cells. For more on how infrared sauna use can help fight cancer, check out the post “Infrared Sauna Use by Cancer Patients.” These are the proven benefits of infrared saunas treatment and there are tonnes of other benefits that you can enjoy.

Q: How can this treatment help for postnatal care?

A: Dr. Mehmet Oz, our medical expert, unveiled several technological marvels designed to enhance and extend life - one of which was Sunlighten™ Infrared Sauna.

For postnatal care, our Sunlighten™ Infrared Sauna is a very excellent and reliable tool for detoxification and is a great support for those who are not able to do much exercise after childbirth. I am a mother of two, so I understand the struggle faced by most mothers when it comes to postnatal body weight issues.

Our Sunlighten™ Infrared Sauna is indeed a solution for all mothers out there I must say. The infrared saunas by Faith Wellness Centre help a lot in improving our blood circulation which at the same time will enhance the breast milk production. It also helps us to relax which is good to control imbalanced hormones that associates with the mothers’ emotional state after delivery and during the confinement. For overtired, lack-of-sleep mothers like most of us, our Sunlighten™ Infrared Sauna really is a solution to purify the skin and enhance cell health. This helps a lot to beautify the skin, stimulate collagen production, reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin tone, renew cells, heal wounds and balance the body’spH level.

Q: How much is the cost per session?

A: The price per treatment is between RM60 to RM120. The price would vary for every client as the treatment will be selected according to the client’s body and different needs. Before each session, our staff will make a body index composition analysis to figure out the problems inside their body. The result will determine which kind of treatment suits the client best.

Q: We are very glad the Infrared Sauna is here in Kota Kinabalu, this treatment will surely help so many people. Do you have plans to expand your centre?

A: Absolutely! With the demand that we have right now, we already have plans to open up our second branch next year. Once again, I would like to highlight our mission which is to be the best wellness centre exclusively in Borneo Sabah, and in Malaysia, that promotes healthy living lifestyle through Infrared Sauna therapies without relying heavily on synthetic medicine. Our biggest hope is to expand our empire to all over the country so all of you will get the chance to experience our Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna by Sunlighten™. You just sit back and relax in our infrared sauna, and be ready to get 600-900 calories of your body burned as part of your weight loss journey, detoxify your body, relieve pain, reduce blood pressure, improve blood circulation and purify your skin all in one treatment.

Since our Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna by Sunlighten™ is the first in Sabah, I would like to welcome all of you to Faith Wellness Centre to experience the infrared saunas by yourself naturally.


Faith Wellness Centre,
Lorong Pusat Komersial 88/2, Block E, Lot 3A 1st Flr, 88 Market Place, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Contact: 016-415 3881 or 088-204850