6. Gan Eng Seng School
Following a trend for firsts, Gan Eng Seng School (GESS) is the first school to be founded and supported by a Chinese benefactor in the Straits Settlements.
The school had its first year in 1885, and was known as Anglo-Chinese Free School. It was only renamed after, as a nod to it’s founder, Gan Eng Seng.
Gan Eng Seng was a businessman who had a dream to build a school for the less fortunate, where they could learn English and Chinese. GESS was the only school at the time that offered a bilingual education to its students.
In 1987, GESS accepted its first batch of girls. Prior to that, the school was solely a boys-only school.