Zheng Wang (Teun) - A comparative study of Chinese education in the Dutch East Indies and British Malaya 1900-1942


The Chinese have always been enthusiastic about providing very good and very “Chinese” education for their children. The overseas Chinese kept this tradition. The overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia have shown great interest in facilitating their own education for their children in the twentieth century. They pleaded with the colonial government to provide good education for their children. When the colonial government did not grant their wish, they took matters into their own hands and founded schools themselves. Chinese merchants, who played an important role in the Southeast Asian economy, generously gave financial support to these Chinese schools.    

By comparing Chinese education in the two regions, this thesis attempts to detect the similarities and differences of the situations under which Chinese education developed, and it also examines the condition of the education the Chinese received in the two areas. I try to analyze the  strategies of both governments in dealing with the Chinese schools and the reaction from the Chinese as well.

In both regions some detailed literature on Chinese education during the colonial era can be found. Some works on the post-independent period have also been produced. The objective of this thesis is to analyze more systematically the development of Chinese education during the first half of the twentieth century, by comparing the situation in the two regions. The sources I use are various educational journals on Chinese education in the Dutch language, and newspapers of the Chinese communities in Chinese and Dutch. This research relies on the previous works of numerous writers on the (overseas) Chinese in general and on education in the Dutch East Indies and British Malaya in particular. 

Teun has graduated for his MA degree in 2011.
Contact: wangzhengbjwz@yahoo.cn

Last Modified: 14-12-2011