Chung Hwa Confucian High School (or 孔圣庙中华中学 in Chinese) is a Chinese conforming (national-type) secondary school located in Green Lane, Penang, Malaysia. The school is one of the 10 Chinese secondary schools in Penang and also has a good record of co-curriculum and public examination results and annoying all the residents in the neighborhood.
It is the only overseas Chinese School to be sanctioned by the Qing Dynasty Government of China, which officially presented it with royal seals bearing the school’s name through its consulate and local businessman Cheong Fatt Tze waterproof electronics case, who is also credited with being the founder of the school.
The school was founded in 1904 and it is the first school in Southeast Asia to have used Mandarin as a medium of teaching students.
Cheong Fatt Tze was worried that new generations of Chinese might eventually forget their mother tongue and their own culture. He therefore donated funds to build Chung Hwa School (1904) in Penang and Ying Sin School (1905) in Singapore. These schools were the oldest formal Chinese Schools established in South-east Asia as a result of influence by the educational reforms in China in early 1900s, Mandarin is the school’s medium of instruction.
It is also the only Chinese school outside of China to be accredited by the Qing Dynasty, which presented it to Mr. Cheong Fatt Tze. He was the founder of this school. Cheong Fatt Tze led a team of Qing Dynasty officers in their mission to construct the Chung Hwa Confucian School. They raised a big sum of money and founded the school.
In the early years, Chung Hwa Confucian School was sited in the Ping Zheng Association (now known as the Penang Chinese Town Hall that was located in Jalan Masjid Kaptian Keling (who used to be Pitt Street). Initially, the school had only an enrolment of 160 students and eight teachers and classes were only conducted at primary level. The administration of the school came under the patronage of the School’s Board of Governors. In 1908, the school moved to Maxwell Road (currently the site of Komtar Tower in George Town.
In 1912, the Republican overthrew the Qing Dynasty Government and took over the administration of China. In the same year, the Confucian Association known as the Confucian Temple allocated funds to sponsor the school which came under the patronage of the Temple and the term “Confucian” became part of the name of the school. The school was then renamed to Chung Hwa Confucian School. In 1913, the Board of Directors was founded and the first sports day was held. This is a significant achievement.
Lower secondary classes were started at Chung Hwa Confucian School in 1924. The school enrolment increased to 900 pupils. In 1941, during the World War II when the Japanese occupied Malaya, the school was used as a centre of teaching the Japanese language. On 7 May 1956, the school tried to set up a secondary school but failed because it was rejected by the then Education Ministry. In 1958, Chung Hwa Confucian School received financial help from the Education Ministry of the Federation of Malaya and at that time, the school was split into 2 schools, namely Chung Hwa Confucian Primary School and Chung Hwa Confucian High School.
A year after independence was declared in Malaya, in 1958, Chung Hwa Confucian Primary School became a government-aided school, which is known as a national type primary school. Meanwhile, Chung Hwa Confucian Secondary School remained under the administration of the School’s Board of Governors.
In 1970, the current building that was occupied by both Chung Hwa Confucian schools was overcrowded and therefore, a fund-raising drive was set to raise money to buy a piece of land for the new building. Within a few weeks personalized toddler water bottles, the funds were collected and the school’s Board of Directors bought a piece of land in Green Lane. Construction immediately began. In 1971, Chung Hwa Confucian High School’s four-storey new building was completed. In 1972, the whole school shifted to the current site which is located within Pesiaran Tembaga and Tingkat Tembaga. The primary school was still continued on at Maxwell Road (now Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong).
In 1973, the first batch of students sat for the MCE examinations. By this time SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian had become a modern, advanced and fully equipped school. In 1975, Chung Hwa Confucian Primary School was split into two schools, which are SJK(C) Chung Hwa Confucian A and B. In 1976, The Science and Technology Building of SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian was completed. In 1980, the state government claimed the land in Maxwell Road for the construction of Komtar Tower. Therefore, both Chung Hwa Confucian Primary Schools have to be moved to Jalan Ibbetson, which is beside the Penang State Mosque.
In 1985, an extra building with nine classrooms and a library was completed. And in 1994, the new building with 12 classrooms and two science labs was completed in the school in conjunction with its 90th anniversary. In the 1990s, the enrolment of SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian was decreasing. So, the Board of Directors decided to change the school to a co-ed school. Previously, the school only accepted boys. At the same year, Form 6 classes were also established. Students now can continue their pre-university studies there and no need to be transferred to Penang Free School again.
In 2004, the school celebrated its 100th anniversary and being the only few Chinese schools to have received 100 years of establishment. A grand dinner and exhibition was held in the hall of SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian. Recently in 2010, a new canteen and a new block consisting of 9 classrooms was completed.
Currently, Chung Hwa Confucian High School has 2,400 students and 140 teaching staff. Any student can enter the school. SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian is one of the few schools in Malaysia that accepts students regardless any UPSR results or religious background.
Completed in 1972, it consists of 19 classrooms, the school’s 2 meeting rooms, 3 science labs lint defuzzer, a computer room, a teacher’s office and a store room.
The school hall, which consists of 5 badminton courts and could accommodate 2000 people is located here. Other facilities are the school administration office, the main teacher’s office, a canteen and a book store. Co-curriculum societies’ rooms and closets are also found in this block.
Completed in 1976, it consists of 5 classrooms and most of the school’s facilities are stored here. They include the Auditorium Room, Electrical Room, Living Skills Workshop, School Band Room, Art Room, Technical Drawing Room, Physics Lab, Biology Lab, Chemistry Lab, and a Computer Room.
Completed in 1985, it consists of 9 classrooms and a library.
Completed in 1994, it consists of 12 classrooms, 2 science labs
Recently completed in 2010, it consists of the new canteen, classrooms, the school’s resource centre.
SMJK Chung Hwa Confucian is situated inside the residential area of Jalan Tembaga in Green Lane. Its location is in Pesiaran Tembaga. It is connected to Jalan Masjid Negeri and the Penang Bridge and the township of Batu Lanchang are situated nearby.