Primary Schooling in the mid/late ‘50s | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Primary Schooling in the mid/late ‘50s

The account on schools in the ‘50s reminds me of my own experience in my first school, Nan Chiau 南僑學校, a private p.m. school that it shared with another school, St. John’s College, which ran the morning session.

The school was big, with its front entrance at Caine Road, Mid-Levels not far from Aberdeen Street. It had a back door at Seymour Road. The site was subsequently developed into the Cainway Mansion, still present today, I believe. We had around 50 or more kids in our class.

Every now and then, my teacher, a young lady dressed in the traditional blue Cheongsam, would randomly pick a group of 10+ kids in each class, and hurried us to get out from the back door. We were then joined by kids from other classes, led by other teachers. From there we would go east, via Castle Road, down to Caine Road, and walked all the way to Botanical Garden at Lower Albert Road, where we would spend an hour or two. Alternatively, she would take a western route, down Seymour Road to Bonham Road, where we ended up at King George V Park, on High Street. On some occasions I was not picked, and had to carry on our boring classes!

The purpose of the trips were exactly the same as what Yee mentioned - to avoid being caught (for having too many schoolchildren in one class) by the inspector of the Education Department. On another note, Yee’s Laisee money was quite big. I only got 20 cents (each of one pair) for “ordinary “ Laisee, 50 cents from more generous adults, and one dollar from my parents. That was in the early to mid-1950s.

TW Wong, Adjunct Professor School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of HK