Events: School Charter 1816


The Free School Charter

Prince of Wales Island Free School

The boys school was opened on the 21st October 1816 and the Girls School on the 1st July 1817, by subscription under the Patronage of the Honourable Governor in Council.

The following is the outline of the plan on which the Establishment was founded.

  1. That the school be conducted by an Superintendent or Master, presiding over such a number of teachers, as may be required for the number of students admitted.
  2. That the School may be opened to the reception of all children on the Island of every description, whose parents or friends are willing to submit them to the rules of the institution.
  3. That it will be the first object of the Institution to provide for the Education of such Children as wound be otherwise bred up in Idleness and consequent Vice and without any means of obtaining instruction either in useful learning or in any manual employment and to implant in them the early habits of industry, order and good conduct.
  4. That however such parents as are capable of supporting the expense of the education of their children that be called upon for the payment of such small demands as may be thought proper to be required.
  5. That such children as reside near the school and can daily and regularly attend at the stated hours, shall be day Scholars.
  6. That such as come from a distance and whose parents and friends are incapable of supporting them, shall be maintained and clothed at the expense ofthe school.
  7. That any part or all of the children may be instructed in Reading and Writing English and in the common rules of Arithmetic.
  8. That at a proper age they may also be instructed in useful Employment as Carpenters, Smiths, Shoemakers, Tailors, Book Binders etc.
  9. That great care be taken for the prejudice of parents averse to the Christian Religion be not violated.
  10. That the children of Malayan parents who are not desirous that they should English, be maintained by a Malayan Teacher, to Read and Write their own language.
  11. That the fame plan be adopted as far as circumstances will permit, with regard to the children of Chooliah and Hindcoftanae Parents.
  12. That, however, a committee which may be hereafter appointed, will give directions in what way the children which they admit, shall be instructed.
  13. That no children be admitted under the age of 4 years or above 14 and none kept in the institution after the age of 16 years unless they are kept as Teachers or Affilante.
  14. That at or therefore the age of 14, it be endeavoured to procure for the children situations, as Servant to European, or with A or with Artificers or otherwise to dispose ofthem with the approbation of their friends in such ways as may be though most likely to render them most beneficial to themselves and to the community.

The above is taken from the “Commemorative Souvenir Programme” published by Old Frees Association Singapore on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the Penang Free School.

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