KUALA LUMPUR: Three schools, each in Johor, Malacca and Taiping are among 16 schools to be gazetted as heritage sites.
The Taiping schools in the list are King Edward VII (1883) and Convent (1955) — both primary schools — and St George’s Institution (1915) while the ones in Malacca are Alor Gajah (1900), St Francis and Banda Hilir (1908) primary schools.
Muar (1902), Segamat (1926) and Batu Pahat (1914) high schools have also been recommended by the National Heritage commissioner Prof Emeritus Datuk Siti Zuraina Abdul Majid as heritage sites. Penang Free School (1816), which is the oldest school in Southeast Asia, Clifford School in Kuala Lipis (1913), and Anderson School of Ipoh (1909) are also in, as is SK Tunku Putra in Baling, Kedah, which hosted the Baling peace talks of 1955. The others are the old block of Ampangan primary school in Seremban, Holy Infant Jesus, Bukit Nenas, and SM Convent in Klang.
Zuraina said a proclamation ceremony would be held in November where the schools would either be named as “Heritage Sites” or “National Heritage Sites”.
National Heritage Sites were chosen by Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and the National Heritage Department names the Heritage Sites. Three schools have already been accorded Heritage Site status. These are St John’s Institution (Kuala Lumpur), St Michael’s Institution (Ipoh) and the old block of SM King George V in Seremban.
Malay College Kuala Kangsar’s big school building and Victoria Institution were awarded the National Heritage status.
Zuraina said the schools were selected according to the National Heritage Act 2005.
“Many are of the opinion that heritage schools are chosen because of their age. That is not necessarily true. There are schools that are not more than a 100 years old but meet the cut like the Clifford school in Kuala Lipis.
“We consider schools that have historical significance and strongly associated to Malaysian history. The school, too, must have a good design or aesthetic characteristics.”
by Halimatul Hamid.