10 Really Old Schools That Shaped Singapore’s History

3. Nanyang Girls’ School

Nanyang Girls’ School (NYS) was founded in 1917 by a man named Sun Yat Sen.

He was a Chinese revolutionary, and was responsible for successfully toppling the Qing Dynasty and instituting the Republic of China.

On a visit to Singapore in 1910, he noticed that there were no Singaporean women participating in the revolutionary movement taking place in China.

Sun believed that if more females were educated, they’d be able to participate in politics. He was then able to convince the Chinese United League in Singapore to promote education among women.

Following this, NGS was established in 1917, in a row of shophouses at Dhoby Ghaut.

By 1946, NGS had an estimated 1,400 students, making it one of the largest Chinese schools in Singapore at the time.

4. St Joseph’s Institution

St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) is the third-oldest school, and the oldest catholic school in Singapore.  SJI was founded in 1852, by Father Jean-Marie Beurel.

He wanted to set up a Christian school for Singaporean boys.

Father Beurel believed that the school would be a good way to promote the Catholic mission in Singapore, and was aimed at being an addition to a church he had built in 1847. The church still exists today as well, and is known as the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

The school was known as St John’s School, prior to being named St Joseph’s Institution in 1867.

The school moved to its current location on Malcolm Road in 1988.

Its previous campus was gazetted as a national monument in 1992. The building is now home to the Singapore Art Museum.

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