Top 10 Old Schools That Shaped Singapore’s History

2. Raffles Institution

While St Margaret’s is the oldest girl’s school in Singapore, it isn’t the oldest school. Raffles Institution (RI) takes that spot, having been founded in 1823 by Sir Stamford Raffles.

After founding our island in 1819, Raffles was looking to set up a premiere educational institution.

While the school was founded in 1823, construction works and funding issues delayed teaching at the institution until 1834, a long 9 years later.

Prior to its current name, RI was known as Singapore Free School. It was only in 1868 that the school was renamed Raffles Institution.

Since its establishment, RI has had multiple notable alumni, including Singapore’s first two presidents, and many other politicians.

3. Nanyang Girls’ School

Nanyang Girls’ School (NYS) was founded in 1917 by a man named Sun Yat Sen.

He was a Chinese revolutionary, and was responsible for successfully toppling the Qing Dynasty and instituting the Republic of China.

On a visit to Singapore in 1910, he noticed that there were no Singaporean women participating in the revolutionary movement taking place in China.

Sun believed that if more females were educated, they’d be able to participate in politics. He was then able to convince the Chinese United League in Singapore to promote education among women.

Following this, NGS was established in 1917, in a row of shophouses at Dhoby Ghaut.

By 1946, NGS had an estimated 1,400 students, making it one of the largest Chinese schools in Singapore at the time.

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