chapter  9
28 Pages


Teacher education in Singapore has a lineage that goes back to its colonial heritage and immigrant roots. Educational provision under colonial rule-right up to the outbreak of the Second World War-was, at best, fragmented: there were Christian mission schools, which largely provided education in English; government Malay schools; and immigrantcommunity-supported Chinese and Tamil schools. With differences in the medium of instruction (Le. whether it was English, Malay, Chinese, or Tamil) and further differences in financial support, curricula, and supervision, the colonial strategy was seen as one of "divide and rule." In the same way, separate language-based initiatives undertaken in the early days to provide some basic training for teachers (in English and Malay by the colonial government, and in Chinese and Tamil by community effort) reflected the uncoordinated nature of basic educational provision at that time.