In line with the Malaysianisation scheme, the first Asian Principal was appointed to the school since its establishment in 1826.
Mr. W. Gibson left on 28th. March, 1958 and Mr. K. Kandiah was appointed Principal. Independence (MERDEKA had brought on its train additional duties and responsibilities to the people of the independent Malaya. In view of this, the Principal and staff braced themselves to provide the pupils of the school with a full education to equip them to tackle the many challenges of the country.
The school enrolment by the end of 1959 had reached 979 pupils, including 22 girls. However, no new buildings had been added to the existing ones, and owing to the lack of accomodation, the Chief Education Officer had to direct about a total of 120 pupils to other schools.
Five acres of playground was reclaimed from the nearby swamps at a great cost to the school. Pupils were given ample scope in the literary field when 5 new magazines were introduced namely, ‘The Malayan Sejarah’, ‘The Observer’, ‘The Learner’, ‘The Vista’ and ‘The Siren’.
Both the General and Sixth Form Libraries at that time had a total of 5000 books. The Board of Governors system was introduced in 1958 and the first meeting of the board was held on 18th. June, 1958.
10 members were elected to the Board and the first Chairman was Mr. Goh Tan Teng. Mr. Kandiah left the school on 27th. August, 1960 after having done a magnificent job in improving the school and Mr. C.T. Wade from the Federal Military College (the present RMC) became the school’s second post-independence Principal.
The following year, the school mourned at the news that their beloved former Principal, Mr. Kandiah had passed away at the Bangsar Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. In honour and memory of his dedication to the school, the Poor Pupils Fund which was started by him was renamed the Kandiah Memorial Fund. As such it is a small tribute to one of the few who had paved a way to a better Malaysia through the Malacca High School.
Mr. C.T. Wade became the Principal from 1960 to 1965.
He was equally quick to follow Mr. Kandiah’s footsteps. He was a strict disciplinarian who gave equal emphasis to sports and studies. Under his leadership, the school achieved outstanding success in the field of sports and studies. Many of the boys of the school represented the state in games like cricket and hockey and the school too managed to secure many of the nation’s coveted awards like the Colombo Plan awards, The Federal Scholarships, the Shell Award during his era. Mr. Wade left the school in 1965, and his tribute to the field of sports and academy section is never to be forgotten.
Mr. Tan Teik Hock who succeeded Mr. Wade, remained as the Principal until 1969. He was quick to realise the plights of the school which was in dire need of space and facilities as a result of an ever-increasing enrolment. During the first year of his principalship, two new blocks of buildings were added as a remedy to this unfavourable situation. The school continued the trend set by Mr. Wade and successful in the field of sports and studies. In 1967, the National Educational Policy was implemented, and the school became more aware of its responsibility towards the creation of a peaceful and progressive Malaysian society. 1967 also saw the introduction of the objective type questions in the Lower Certificate Examination or LCE examination.
Great changes were observed during the final year of Mr. Tan’s principalship. Eighteen veteran teachers of the school were either transferred to other schools or went on study leave. The witnessed and avalanche of new teachers. A total of 35 and the school’s staff swelled to over 70 teachers. Like his two previous precedents, Mr. Tan Teik Hock left in April, 1969 with a tremendous achievement on his records.
He was succeeded by Mr. Lim Leng Lee who took over on 5th. May. Mr. Lim Leng Lee was Principal for only one year and was transferred to King George V school to become the Principal. Then Mr. K. Anaandarajan came to the school as the new principal.
Under his three year principalship, many improvements were brought to the school. The school staff swelled to 83 members, out of which 42 were graduate teachers. There were 38 classes to accomodate the total enrolment of more than 1600 pupils.
In the first year, the school experienced many changes. It was given a general face lift when the old windows were pulled down to be replaced by glass louvres. The school buildings were repainted and the old school hall was converted into an air-conditioned library. Various projects were planned for the school with the assistance of the Board of Governors.
The Annual Sports meet in 1971 was held on a very grand scale with the atmosphere of an inter-national meet. Several thousands of balloons and pigeons were released and the closing ceremony was masqueraded by a glamorous fireworks display. In the field of studies, the lecture system was introduced to the Sixth Form. For the first time, the pupils in Form 1 studied Commerce.
The Kandiah Memorial Fund was given a great boost with proceeds from3 plays and 2 variety shows. Two new awards were also administered by the Board of Governors, namely the Dr. Thambipillay award and the C.T. Wade award. A book exhibition was held. Mr. Ong Sek Pek, an ardent supporter of the school donated several musical instruments to the school Brass Band. The School Band later became nationally known when it was invited to perform at the two sports meets at national level.
In 1971, the school was honoured by the visit of several VIPs including the former Minister of Finance, Tun Tan Siew Sin, the former Minister of Rural Development, Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba, the former Director-General of Education, Tuan Haji Hamdan and the former Chief Minister of Melaka, Datuk Haji Talib Karim. The enrolment of the school, increased to an enormous total of 1800 pupils while and additional teacher was enlisted bringing the total number of teachers to 84. That year also saw the introduction of the school song that was to be sung at every assembly on Monday mornings.
The last year of Mr. Anandarajan’s principalship also saw the formation of the Parent-Teacher Association with Dr. M.C. Umapathy assuming the post of Chairman. A comprehensive list of objectives was made to the parents to get them actively involved in the education of their children.
At the end of 1972, Mr. Anandarajan left the school and Mr. Chan Ying Tat became the 26th Principal of the school. His appointment created history for the school for he was the first old boy to be the Principal.
Under his principalship, the school went through a phase of many improvements and achievements. In 1973, the school was facing an acute shortage of classrooms so much so, afternoon classes had to be introduced. Originally built to accomodate 400 pupils, the enrolment of the school in 1973 was a staggering 1883. However to remedy the situation, plans for the building of 1 block containing 4 classrooms, 1 library, 2 science laboratories for the lower secondary, 1 staff room, a lavotary, a bicycle shed, and Industrial Arts block and a three-storey hostel were drafted and were approved by the Ministry.
1973 proved to be a glorious year for Malacca High School in the academic and sports fields. The overall results in all the examinations improved considerably as compared with those of the years before. In the field of sports, the Malacca High School emerged champions in practically every game including the Under 16 and Under 20 Basketball championships, a first in the history of the school. The school was given a new look with the introduction of the school ties which were to be worn on every Monday or on any other important functions.
1974 too proved to be equally successful in the field of academy and sports. The school manifested its prowess in the field of sports by dominating the hockey, basketball, rugger and cricket championships and winning 70% of the MSSM colours. Again, there was a marked increase in the percentage of passes in all examinations, held since its establishment. All the proposed buildings in 1973 were completed that year and the school field was also extended by 4 acres, making it the biggest school field surpassing even the Kubu Stadium. Plans for a school hall were also drafted. On teachers’ day that year, the school held a walkathon.
The years 1975 and 1976 proved to be equally successful and the school created history when two of her boys were selected to undergo training with the Malaysian Hockey World Cup squad.
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