150 Years of Education in Singapore

150 Years of Education in Singapore was published by the Teaching Training College (TTC) in 1969 to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Singapore.

Edited by T. R. Doraisamy, then principal of TTC, the book served to highlight the important turning points since its founding in 1819, and how education was co-entensive with the entry of Singapore into the modern international sphere. Besides Doraisamy, other contributors were Gwee Yee Hean, Joseph Doray, K. M. Waldhauser and Zahoor Ahmad. Up till then, no general educational survey of Singapore had been published although accounts of various phases had been written up in articles, books and unpublished theses. The book then fulfilled an urgent need for such a survey.

The book can be divided into three parts. The first part is a chronological survey of education in Singapore. It consists of four chapters covering the periods: 1819-1867, 1867-1942, 1946-1959 and 1959-1968. The second part which comprises three chapters is focused on discussions of Chinese education, Malay education, and Tamil education. The final part focuses on the developments in educational policy and programmes in 1968-1969. The tables and charts provided at the end of the book are particularly useful. They include the administrative diagram of education in pre-war Malaya and the Straits Settlements, the structure of the educational system in 1958 and 1968, the statistical table of school enrolment from 1946-1968, diagram of Singapore’s education system in 1968, and the administrative diagram of education in 1968/1969.

As the Singapore education system today is so much different from that of the past, the book is a useful source on the evolution of the educational system in Singapore from the colonial period until the early years of Singapore’s independence.


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