At the end of 1970s, the German-speaking community in Kuala Lumpur began to think that, in addition to the numerous international schools run by the American and the British, a German-language educational institution would also be useful. So in September 1978, the German School Association Malaysia is founded with 25 members. The first president is Peter Thomas.
First day of school
On 8 January 1979, the German School Kuala Lumpur (DSKL) celebrates its first day of school with grades 1 to 3. It has exactly three students on its founding day: a girl from Port Klang and a girl and a boy from Kuala Lumpur. The latter is the son of a teacher, Mrs. Maybaum. The DSKL opens its doors in a landed house in Petaling Jaya. The classroom is a study room adjoining the living room.
Under the direction of Sybille Thomas, the kindergarten is founded at the same time. The members of the school association improvise a lot, because teaching materials are particularly rare. But they showed self-confidence: At the beginning of the second school year, the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) sent the desired teacher. Classrooms were rented in a larger house in Damansara Heights and thirteen students were taught in grades 2 to 5. Klaus Weckesser became the first principal of DSKL.
After three years, in the summer of 1982, the school has to move again due to lack of space. The new home is in Petaling Jaya, Section 14, in the building next door to our current kindergarten. The school now has 33 students, divided into eight classes. It is taught according to the Bremen curriculum.
The kindergarten also grows steadily, resulted with a preschool with ten children founded in 1985. A year later, DSKL sets its next milestone with two 10th grade graduates. The year 1986 marked the establishment of a school bus service, which is needed due to the increased number of students.
In 1988, exactly ten years after its founding, the School Association’s Board of Directors holds its 100th board meeting.
Eight personal computers discarded by a local global corporation mark the DSKL’s entry into the IT age in 1990: the school set up a computer room. In the first few years, they mainly serve as a replacement for typewriter, and while today’s terms such as “search engine” or “Internet research” still seem like foreign words, DSKL is ahead of its time here.
However, one problem is becoming increasingly urgent: the room situation. Although the building at Jalan 14/54 has a lot of rooms, it is far too small for a growing number of students to become classrooms. In 1996, after an intensive search, DSKL is able to move into its new school building, where it is still located today. Ironically, although the rooms in the building at Lorong Utara B are initially huge, there are too few of them. Without further ado, lightweight walls were erected to create more classrooms. This is how the brightness of DSKL rooms is created. In addition, the school now rented a Sport Hall in Cobra Club which is located next to DSKL. For 16 years, there had only been physical education classes in a small schoolyard.
In the 1990s, Malaysia is considered one of Tiger Cub Economies country. The economy is booming and attracts job opportunities from abroad. DSKL is developing against this background. In school year 1995/1996, it welcomes its 100th student. The steadily increasing number of students soon makes it clear that even the new building is actually too small. Renovation work has begin, which is then completed in 1999. There is now an annex that provides a separate entrance for the students. The teaching staff and administration continue to enter the school through the same glass door, which today appears somehow without function in the reception area.
DSKL has not only developed rapidly from the outside. In 1999, the school hosted the region’s Southeast Asian Games for the first time. For this purpose, the school is allowed to hold final examinations in lower secondary school on a permanent basis on the same year.
The effects of economic recession during the late 1990s hit DSKL at the turn of the millennium. The school has to cope with a significant decline in student numbers.
The New Millenium
At the beginning of the new millennium, German School Kuala Lumpur celebrate two major successes in the sports and arts fields: the DSKL team sensationally wins the Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta in 2002, and in the same year the school hosts the first cultural festival of German schools in Southeast Asia.
In school year 2006/2007, the school is rebuilt once again and adapted to the increasing number of students. In general, this school year is extremely eventful. School uniforms are introduced, there are the first classes using laptop and an intensive debate takes place in the entire school community about transforming DSKL into a full-day school. It culminates in an opinion poll, which goes in favor of the proponents.
Ten students are the first to graduate from DSKL in 2009, exactly 30 years after the school was founded.
In the following ten years, DSKL changed both in small and large scale. In August 2011, the guest student program starts with four students. In the same school year, classrooms are made fit for the future with the installation of Smartboards. The Sinfonietta, founded in 2012, also shines outside the school with its performances. The repeated certification as an “Excellent German School Abroad” represents another highlight in 2014 in terms of school development.
The German School is now gradually taking on the appearance with which it presents itself today in everyday school life: As part of a Security concept drawn up in advance, the first guards started working at the school in 2014/2015 in order to deal with the changed security situation since the beginning of the decade. Since the school year, school lunch is no longer delivered but also prepared at the school. A new school uniform collection has been available since 2017.
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