The Anglo-Chinese School, Telok Anson, has an enrolment of 408, a few of whom are girls. As there is a girls’ school (the Convent) in the town no new girls are now permitted in the Primary classes. Those on the roll will leave when they are twelve years old. We do not pretend to be able to create a suitable environment for the proper mental and spiritual growth of girls in a school which is essentially a boys’ school.
We have the House System operating in our School, there being five Houses in the charge of House Prefects and House Masters whose activities are integrated by the House Secretary, Mr. Lee Hah Ing. The House System was thoroughly reorganised last year. “Over-emphasis on individual competitions for getting school work done leads to such personality maladjustments as ego-centricity, jealousy, resort to cheating, copying etc. So all competitive functions of the School were organised not around individual student but around groups–the Houses. Competitive groups are as undesirable as competitive individuals. So a School Council was organised to be a common meeting place for House Officers, to develop student leadership and to stimulate the personal interest of the student body in the welfare of the School as a whole.” It is composed of the five House Senior Prefects, the five House Masters, the Advisor of the House Organisation and the Principal who is an Ex-officio member. The Council meets every fortnight to discuss matters pertaining to the discipline and organisation of the student body. This council introduced by Mr. L. B. Jenkins has been a very great success so far as the general discipline and the conduct of the pupils are concerned. The boys have been progressively taught to shoulder responsibilities, they have been made to realise that they are units in a social group and that they are not only to restrain themselves from anti-social acts but also to subordinate their own likes and dislikes to whatever may be desirable for the well-being and progress of the social group to which they belong–in the particular case, their School. The students are encouraged to organise and to lead in almost every activity of the School and to regard the teacher as a friend and a guide to advise the leaders when his advice is requested and from his richer experience to indicate to student leaders new avenues of progressive endeavour. The President of the School Council is the Senior Prefect–at present Master Ahmad Kahiri of the Senior Cambridge class.
At the last Agri-Horticulturer Show of Lower Perak our Handwork Exhibits won the First Prize Mr. P. Vengadasalam is teacher of Handwork Our Scout Troop (Scout Master Mr. W. E. Perera) entered the finals of the State Competition for the Sultan Shield for all-round proficiency.
We are looking forward this year with high hopes of improving on our achievements of the past. The Perak Inter-A.C.S. Games Competition is to be held this year at Telok Anson. Mr. Arjan Singh, the Sports Secretary is in charge of arrangements and preparations are well under way to ensure a grand Sports Meet.
Early this year the Principal announced his intention of having a School Magazine published this year. The students of the Secondary Department as well as the Staff have taken to the idea enthusiastically and we are confident of publishing a very fine magazine this year.
However, the most important contribution we in the A.C.S. Telok Anson are seeking to make to education in Malaya does not consist in our attempts to adopt and to perfect routine methods and organisation which are the irreducible minima of any elementary school with a secondary department but in the experiment the Staff is engaged in at present under the leadership of our Principal, Mr. L. B. Jenkins, to substitute “Education for Creative Living” in place of that “Instruction for Petty Accuracies” which passes for Education today. In the words of Mr. Jenkins, “Education is not skill in addition of fractions, nor a “pre-arranged” course of studies in English, or Geography or Mathematics. It is life that is creatively active. It is insight, disposition and ideals. It is wholesome behaviour, the result of qualitative enrichment of life. Therefore the primary task of the School is not the transmission of knowledge, but the building of wholesome personalities.” To the general reader this aim of ours may appear to be too general and the purpose too diffused to be capable of practical achievement, just as the untutored lay-man will not be able to perceive any order or arrangement in the systematically orientated wheels of the simplest watch. But with knowledge comes ability. In order that the Staff may be able to translate these aims in terms of everyday teaching technique Mr. Jenkins is delivering a series of lectures accompanied by practical demonstration class-es. This course of study will extend over a period of five years. The study of Psychology is necessary if teachers are to understand and to hold the key to the problems that maladjustments in the workings of the mind of a growing child give rise to. So the First Years’ work is the study of the Psychology of Personality with attention to the Dynamics of Behaviour, and the application of the knowledge so derived to estimate the effect of environmental factors of home and school life which tend to develop and foster maladjustments. This part of the five year programme has been completed and the Staff has now started on the Second Years’ work which is the study of “Building Wholesome Personality through Curricular Activities”. Our aims, far from being the mere expression of a vague ideal to be strived for and never quite achieved, have been proved capable of concrete expression, for this Course drawn up by Mr. Jenkins reduces them to a practical teaching technique. At the present time the Principal has introduced “Student Development” as a subject of instruction in all classes above Standard Five, and gives the instruction himself. The new type of student with a wholesome integrated personality and a right philosophy regarding his own self, his immediate environment and life as a whole is an encouraging sign of the practical usefulness and of the future possibilities of this new experiment in a Malayan School.
The Malaysia Message
Vol. 48 No. 3