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Sunday, 23 March 2014

保校 (侨南小学)

联合早报 2014323 陈秋华

 一九五三年新加坡温州会馆三十周年纪念

“我校名侨南,矗立在狮岛……”

这是侨南小学校歌的首句歌词,现在看来令人不胜唏嘘,相信曾在侨南孕育下成长的校友都会有此感触。

本报日前报道《六小学合并成三所》的新闻,内容透露了历史最悠久的侨南小学校名不获保留的消息。报道刊登后,引发不少关注,读者主要是为80年老校走入历史感到惋惜。为了保住校名,侨南校友会日前向教育部请愿,希望能有一次对话的机会,说出当年的“约定”。

同许多华校一样,侨南在上世纪80年代也因收生人数骤减而面临关闭。那时的侨南还只是补助学校,而非政府学校。校董最终因无法筹足经费,只好将学校交给政府,条件之一是要求政府保留“侨南”校名。


坦白说,在政策改变、优化资源的大前提下,我对不时上演的学校合并和易名之事早已习以为常。因此在报道这则新闻时,最令我感到意外的不是校名不获保留一事,而是校友会在这之前竟然毫不知情。

访谈中,侨南校友会主席林永强不止一次提到,最令他无法接受的是,校友会是在有关事宜尘埃落定后才接获通知,他甚至以“迅雷不及掩耳”来形容消息来得突然。林永强在说这一番话时,语气尽显无奈。

诚然,以目前整体的教育景观而论,侨南其实只是教育部众多学校中的一所,当年既然已“过名”给政府,教育部在做任何决定之前确实无需征询校友的意见。但是,制度不外乎人情,不是吗?

教育部在做出这么重大的决定之前,没有直接与校友会联系并协商、探讨其他可能性就定案,在情理上似乎说不过去。尤其是像侨南这样历史悠久、桃李满狮城的学校,在处理上是否应该更具人情味一些?

关闭一所学校、除去一个校名,不仅仅是在教育部的学校名单上抹去一行字而已。抹去的,是一整代人的情感记忆;切断的,是校友与母校之间的联系。

林永强说,当初他与另外三名友人成立校友会,就是因为有此隐忧,希望有朝一日能借校友之力保住学校,没想到最终还是没有获得对话的机会。


他这一番话,不禁让我想起多年前华中初级学院和华侨中学的更换校名事件。回想起来,华中要比侨南幸运多了,至少校友能决定校名应怎么改,不像侨南只落得“被通知”的结果。

事实上,侨南从创校至今曾多次努力尝试保校,目的就是为了不辜负先贤对办学的坚持。它除了接受学校成为政府学校,也曾多次主动要求教育部让侨南搬迁以改善收生情况。

然而,反观教育部在做出合并和改名的决定时,它是否事先探讨了各种可能?以校名与侨南调转的南侨为例,该校在金炎路的旧校址一度也面临关闭的命运,并经历了保校还是保地的挣扎。但南侨在搬到盛港后,就如浴火重生的凤凰一般获得新生。

一所学校的创立、迁移或停办,折射的是一个时代的历史和精神。听林永强说,侨南创办人王希元在二战时期宁可冒着被日军杀死的危险,也要坦荡荡地表明自己是一名教师,最后果真被痛恨知识分子的日军给枪毙了。如此对教育义无反顾的热血,令人动容,也体现了侨南的精神。如今,有关方面选择以“事后通知”的方式结束一所拥有80年历史的学校,显得仓促。

写这篇文章之前,听说教育部已经接到请愿书。跟侨南校友一样,我也在静心期待着教育部的回复。希望教育部这回不会再轻易翻过我国学校历史重要的一页。

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