Alumni gather for exhibition to commemorate legacy of 350 Chinese schools

More than 500 people attended the launch of an exhibition that commemorates traditional Chinese schools on Sunday.

Many guests were former students of some 350 schools, most of which have closed down. The remaining schools were preserved under the Special Assistance Plan, or converted into mainstream English ones, in line with the Government's emphasis on bilingualism.

The exhibition, "Chinese Schools - A Lasting Legacy", was organised by the Federation of Chinese School Alumni Associations and focused on the schools that have since shut down.

Its vice-chairman, former Lianhe Zaobao journalist Poon Sing Wah, also put out a 250-page book of interviews with former students of these schools.

Minister of State for Education Sim Ann was the guest-of-honour. Speaking in Mandarin, she said: "Although many of these traditional Chinese schools have faded into history, they have done much to deserve our approval and remembrance."

She singled out for special mention these Chinese schools' emphasis on moral education, which looks at core values like respect, perseverance and responsibility.

Ms Poon said she hopes the exhibition will help extend the legacies of these Chinese schools.

"Although these schools may have disappeared, there are many students who were educated there and have grown up to devote themselves to making Singapore prosperous," she said. "I hope this exhibition can pass some of their traits on to the next generation."

The exhibition will run till July 20 at the Hwa Chong Institution.