Missionary Schools in Penang’s Early Education
Missionary Schools or Mission Schools in Penang had the best English school education set in place during the colonial era. In 1786 when Captain Francis Light established Penang, the Christian missionaries came to set up schools in Malaya and Singapore.
These first missionary schools were founded by the Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, and Brethren churches. These missionaries formed the solid structure of the English education system in Malaysia. The schools produce admirable alumni whose contribution to nation-building is outstanding. There are many Queen scholars, Prime Ministers, lawyers, doctors, economists, business leaders, the police, and military forces.
The list starts with the founding of the first and oldest English Missionary Schools in Penang’s Early Education in South East Asia.
History of Missionary Schools in Penang
1816 – Penang Free School founded by Rev. Sparke Hutchings, who was the Resident Chaplain of Prince of Wales Island, from the Church of England, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The school was originally located at Lebuh Farquhar and relocated to the present location in Jalan Masjid Negeri.
1852 – St. Xavier’s Institution at Farquhar Street is the oldest Catholic Lasallian School in Malaysia. The school all-boys school was established by the De La Salle Brothers, a religious teaching order founded by French Priest Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. While it has a history dating back to 1787, the present-day institution, named after St. Francis Xavier, was only established in 1852.
1852 – Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, universally known as Convent Light Street, is the oldest girls’ school in South East Asia. Reverend Mother Mathilde Raclot, is the key personality and driving force behind the setting up of the first Convent School and Orphanage in Penang.
1884 – The Anglican missionary in Penang founded a school for girls, the St George’s Girls’ School, which traces its history to the first informal classes, conducted by Mrs. Biggs, wife of Reverend L. Courtier Biggs, Colonial Chaplain of the Anglican missionary in Penang.
1891 – Methodist Boys’ School was founded by a Methodist missionary, Rev. Benjamin H. Balderstone as the Anglo-Chinese School. It was renamed Methodist Boys’ School in the 1950s when the current school buildings at Air Itam Road were completed. The school has been an all-boys school since its establishment. Girls are now admitted for Form 6. Pykett Methodist Primary School in George Town shares its origins with Methodist Boys’ School. The primary school was formed at Pykett Avenue after the relocation of the secondary school to Air Itam Road. Due to years of dwindling intake, the primary school will be shut down in 2019.
1892 – The Anglo-Chinese Girls School, now Methodist Girl’s School (MGS), was established by Methodist Mission with Mrs. Amelia Young (later Mrs. G.F. Pykett) conducting classes for girls in Northam Road. The present-day school is located at Anson Road. Two former missionary schools for girls Convent Light Street (CLS) and Convent Pulau Tikus (CPT) are headed for closure. Both schools have stopped taking in students for Form One in both secondary schools and Year One for the Convent Light Street primary school from 2018 onwards.
List of Missionary Schools in Penang (National Primary)
- SK Assumption
- SK Convent Bukit Mertajam
- SK Convent Datuk Keramat (槟城修道院国民型中学)
- SK Convent Green Lane
- SK Convent Light Street
- SK Convent Pulau Tikus
- SK Francis Light
- SK Hutchings
- SK (Cina) Heng Ee
- SK Methodist
- SK Perempuan Island
- SK Perempuan Methodist
- SK Pykett Methodist
- SK St George Balik Pulau
- SK St Mark (M)
- SK St Xavier
- SK St Xavier Cawangan
- SK Stowell
- SK Wellesley
List of Missionary Schools in Penang (National Secondary)
- Convent Bukit Mertajam
- Convent Butterworth
- Convent Datuk Keramat (槟城修道院国民型中学)
- Convent Green Lane
- Convent Light Street
- Convent Pulau Tikus
- Heng Ee High School (恒毅国民型中学)
- Hutchings High School
- Methodist Boys’ School
- Methodist Girls’ School
- Methodist Nibong Tebal
- Penang Free School
- St. George’s Balik Pulau
- St. George’s Girls’ School
- St. Mark High School
- St. Xavier’s Institution