Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222861
Title: THE VISION OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL FOR 10,000 STUDENTS: HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHUNG CHENG HIGH SCHOOL (1939-1977)
Authors: LEK KOK HOU
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master
Lai Chee Kien
2013/2014 Aki DT
Chung Cheng High School
Singapore Chinese schools
Biographic accounts
Malayan
Nation building
Residential lands
Wanrenzhongxue
Issue Date: 14-Nov-2013
Citation: LEK KOK HOU (2013-11-14). THE VISION OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL FOR 10,000 STUDENTS: HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHUNG CHENG HIGH SCHOOL (1939-1977). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: During the period of colonial rule of Singapore, the British maintained a 'lassie faire' attitude to education. English education was made available for the privileged class, who were groomed to learn the colonial language and culture to serve the interests of the colonial regime. For the Chinese community, without help from the government, its education was supported mainly by Chinese community leaders or businessmen. With a tightly-knitted community network, Chinese schools proliferated, leading to the founding of several primary schools and high schools, as well as a Chinese-medium university (Nanyang University) in Singapore. Beginning in the 1950s, due to burgeoning influence of communist rule in China and their perceived impact on Singapore, the government saw resistance efforts from Chinese school students in Singapore towards its policies synonymous to subversive student uprising movements in communist China. Hence, the colonial government took significant disciplinary measures to contain such influences in Singapore as well as promoting 'Malayanisation' as a geo-political imagining to unite the various ethnic groups. This promotion of a 'Malayan' outlook was continued by the incumbent local-elected government, leading to Singapore's merger with Malaysia. In1965, the historical progression took a significant turn when Singapore separated from the Federation to embark on its nation building as an independent nation. During this historical transition, Chinese schools developed their own understanding of national identity and Chinese outlook while making considerable efforts to align with educational objectives suggested by the new local-elected government. This dissertation adopts Chung Cheng High School (CCHS) as a case study to understand the development of Chinese schools during this historical period. It will examine how the school expanded to become the middle school with the highest student population in Southeast Asia in the mid-1950s and further hypothesise that the school's vision and proposed design masterplan to eventually become a middle school for 10,000 student population (or wanrenzhongxue, 万人中学) was closely tied to the influence of its founding principal, Dr. Chuang Chu Lin, and the establishment of Nanyang University. The paper will examine the implications of the masterplan proposed as well as factors which led to its termination during colonial times. Finally, it will understand how the school coped with its development to cater for new educational priorities in the early years of Singapore's independence. The paper employed mainly primary documents published or written in English and Chinese during and after that period for the purpose of giving an objective account of the school's architecture historiography. They included biographical accounts written by key individuals from the school, official publications written during colonial periods and archival sources. These information were then clarified through interviews with known individuals affiliated to the school in present context. It is hoped that through the analysis of CCHS, the paper could provide a more comprehensive and objective historical understanding of Chinese schools during this timeframe, and to motivate related studies on Chinese schools for their role in national history.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222861
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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