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Thursday, 17 April 2014

当年华校的除名与保名

联合早报 2014年4月17 刘家明 
“更生,更生,1939矗立狮子城,弘扬文化,乐育群英,先贤惨淡经营……”。我的两个姐姐和妹妹,在一年级还没有认得多少个中文字的时候就开始唱(背)这首小学校歌了。当时谁都没有去问什么是“先贤惨淡经营”,当然,就算问了也是一知半解。更生小学的校址是由当地热心教育的猪农和乡绅们捐赠的,所以上学的路上常是“遍地黄金”(猪粪),上课时偶尔也有迷途的猪只闯人课室。

校门上“更生小学”四个字乃出自书法家张瘦石先生之手,负责学校在1962年扩建的绘测师,正是已故王鼎昌总统的父亲。到了我上小学时的60年代,在红山区亨德申路的更生小学已算是颇有名气了。
更生小学1960年度修业式 
更生小学1960年毕业学生留影

更生小学乐队庆祝1974年国庆

到了70年代中期,由于全国华文教育逐渐没落,学校的收生人数降到不及300人,在大势所趋之下,更生不得不与Strathmore小学和Friendly Hill 小学联合成“混合小学”经营。新联合学校迁到亚历山大路,校名仍保留为“更生”,但改用Friendly Hill小学的校徽,以及Strathmore 小学的校歌。


新“更生小学”于1980年6月27日,由当时红山区的国会议员林子安开幕。联合小学成立后,三间小学其实都已名存实亡了。2002年1月2日,新联合的更生小学再与亚历山大山小学和亨德申小学联合,并改名为颜永成小学,更生小学正式被“除名”,从此在本国的教育史里消失了。

1955年是我国的“动荡年代”,由于当时学潮、工潮不断,殖民政府下令关闭了参与学潮的民办华文中学,并成立政府华文中学。华义政府华文中学便是在这大环境下于1956年10月14日建立的。校舍先设在当时加东附近的法礼路(Fowlie Road),翌年迁到纽顿的蒙克山小学的临时校舍后,同年再搬到女皇镇的玛格烈通道。庄重奋发的校歌是由著名音乐家丁祝三作曲,林弘道填词的。60年代后期到70年代中期是华义的全盛期,华义政府华文中学是当时数一数二的华文高级中学。在1969年更史无前例地在学校旁边,成功建筑了第一个由政府向社会人士劝募的大运动场。



好景不长,虽有校歌里“负时代之使命,挽狂澜之既倒,作砥柱于中流”之大志,但由于华文教育之势微,华校学生人数递减,华义不得不于1983年迁到直落布兰雅的德普路新校舍,同时转型为英文中学,“华义政府华文中学”则易名为“华义中学”。学校渐渐重上轨道后再迁到目前的裕廊西校舍,新校舍由当时的林文兴部长于2002年揭幕。幸运的是华义没有被“除名”,所以过了将近58年,华义学校的老、中、青三代校友,还有机会于2014年3月29日,在大操场被铲平之前,及时在玛格烈通道的旧址来个名为“往事只能回义”的千人大聚唱。



最近又传出有80多年历史的“侨南小学”因为收生人数不足,被“除名”与其他小学整合为新学校的报道;同时又巧遇华校校友会联合会向公众征求150多间已消失的华校的资料,看来许许多多过去由“先贤惨淡经营”的小学都已经过了除名、易名的宿命。话还要说回来,英文小学其实也经历着同样的命运,许多小学如前面提到的Friendly Hill, Strathmore和亚历山大山等等,也一样在社会的巨轮向现代发展时被淘汰、除名,只不过这类新闻没什么上报罢了。


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