Malacca had among the oldest Government School in Malaysia as early as 19th centuries. In fact, Melaka High School is the oldest government School in Malaysia established in 1826. Following are Infant Jesus Convent Secondary School of Melaka established in 1856 and St. Francis Institution established in 1880. Infant Jesus Convent and St. Francis Institution are open by Christian Missionaries in the early days and now the building still preserving the Christian identity such as small chapel inside school.
Melaka High School on other hand, built by British when Dutch ceded Malacca to the English after the Bencoolen Treaty in 1824. The objective of Melaka High School was to promote free education to all races and religious groups. Here are brief info and history about this three 100 years old school;
1) Melaka High School
Motto : “MELIORA HIC SEQUAMUR” – ‘HERE WE STRIVE FOR BETTER THINGS’
The establishment of the school was initiated by Mr. Thomas H. Moor who came to Malacca in 1825 on orders by Milne who was one of the educators at the Anglo Chinese College. In his letter dated 4th. January 1825, he stated his wishes to Arundel in London for establishing a school. The establishment of the school was also supported by some influential people including James Humphrey, a ‘Superintendent’ in the London Society’s Mission. With their assistance, Malacca High School was officially established. The background of the establishment of Malacca High School was directly related to the closing of the Dutch-Malay school which was established in January 1819 by Christian missionary during the Dutch reign. The school was closed when Malacca was handed over to the English by the Dutch.
More about Melaka High School here.
2)Infant Jesus Convent
Motto : “SIMPLE DANS MA VERTU FORTE DANS MON DEVOIR”
The chain of French Convent School or Holy Infant Jesus Convent Institute established for the need of poor family in French in 1662 by Father Nicholas Barre. In 1851, Father Bouched, a Apostolic Vicar ask for the Sisters to come to Malaya (Malaysia in those day called Malaya) and give their service here. Infant Jesus Convent in Malacca was the first to established by Reverabd Mother Mathilde Raclot and 4 reverand from ‘Sister Mission’ in 1859.
More about Infant Jesus Convent Malacca here. (In Malay)
3) St. Francis Institution
Motto : “AGE QUOD AGIS” – ‘WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WELL’
The St. Francis Institution had its early beginning in 1872 when it was known as St. Mary’s School, whose founder was Rev. Fr. Maximillian de Souza, better remembered as ‘Father Bachino’. It was solely meant for the Catholic education of children in the Parish.
In 1880 the school shifted to a two-storey building which is across the road in front of St. Francis’ Church and was renamed St. Francis Institution by its new principal, Rev. Fr. Deloutte.
More about the St. Francis Institution here.
There are other School in Melaka that open in early 20th century and the have interesting history and historical building too like Canossa Convent High School Malacca est : 1905. Melaka have many early English school because before Independent Malacca was direct administration of the British Government under the British Strait Settlement with Penang and Singapore (States without Malay King or Ruler). This schools also to cater the needs of Dutch and Portuguese descendants in Melaka.