14 SMKs That Are Over 100 Years Old And Still Going Strong

Here are just 14 schools out of many that are over a century old. Special thanks to our awesome readers for recommending!

1. Penang Free School in Penang, 198 years old, established 1816

Penang Free School, old venue in 1816.

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The oldest English school in Southeast Asia and Malaysia's oldest recorded school!

The school was founded during the British occupation by Rev. Sparke Hutchings, the acknowledged founder of the Penang Free School on 21 October 1816, Penang Island, Malaya. Between 1805 and 1816 education was available only for European and Government Officials childrens. The increasing number of Asian children resulted in an increasing interest to provide for their own education needs. Hutchings first petitioned for a "free school" whose aim was to provide a school for the orphans and poor children to be educated, fed and clothed 'free' from racial or religious selectivity.

Presently the school is working towards building a school community of scholars, sportsmen and gentlemen with the continual and collaborative efforts of students, parents, old Frees and educators of Penang Free School.

The main gate of the current Penang Free School, Jalan Mesjid Negeri.

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2. Malacca High School in Malacca, 189 years old, established 1826

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It is one shy from being the oldest recorded school in the country after Penang Free School!

On 7 December 1826, the school was officially established just after Malacca was made an English colony When the Dutch handed Malacca to the English after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. The startup of the Malacca High School was directly related to the closing of the Dutch-Malay school which was established by Christian missionaries during the Dutch reign. The Dutch-Malay school was closed when Malacca was handed over to the English by the Dutch.

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3. St. Xavier's Institution in Penang, 163 years old, established 1852

St Xavier's Institution in 1857.

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St. Xavier's Institution is a boys' school in George Town and named after Saint Francis Xavier, the pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order). It is the oldest surviving formal school in Penang and possibly Malaysia. While being a boys' school, girls are also admitted, albeit only in Form 6. The abbreviated name of the school is SXI with the pupils known as Xaverians or Lasallians, but among the students they were called Saints.

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4. Convent Light Street School in Penang, 163 years old, established 1852

Teacher and Students of Convent Light Street in the early 50s

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The Convent Light Street School is the oldest girl's school in Penang, founded in 1852 by three French nuns from the Holy Infant Jesus Missions. It was located at Church Street and it was an "attap" shed. In 1859, it was moved to the Government House with a seven-acre site surrounding it. It functioned as an orphanage and a boarding school for wealthy families incuding Thai princesses.

Today, it is a Malaysian public school for girls and has fully adopted mainstream education.

Image via Ghosts Malaysia

5. SMK St. Teresa in Sarawak, 130 years old, established 1885

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SMK St. Teresa is an all-girls secondary school in Kuching founded in 1885. Reverend Father Jackson was invited by Rajah Charles Brooke to established Catholic mission schools in Kuching and Kanowit.

He named the school in honour of a renowned Carmelite sister, St Teresa, born in Spain and descendant of a noble family with high moral values. However, she gave up all her material possessions and became a nun. Because of her great wisdom, intelligence, humility, diligence and integrity she was declared a Doctor of the Church in September 1880. The school has been entrusted with her patronage and protection and therefore it is expected that the students of St Teresa’s School emulate and uphold her outstanding qualities and virtues.

6. Methodist Boys' School and Methodist Girl's School in Penang, 124 years old, established 1891

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The school also known as the Anglo-Chinese School, Penang (ACSP) had a humble beginning at a little shop house in Carnavon Street. Its founder, Rev. B. H. Balderstone, a native of Prince Edward Island came to Penang during the British Straits Settlement to start on a mission work. Rev. Balderstone opened the school doors on 28 May 1891. Rev. Balderstone was joined by Rev. D. D. Moore, also a Canadian, a few months later to teach in the school. The Moores established the Methodist Girls' School in 1892.

MBS emerged first in the Penang State Science and Technology Competition and Exhibition in 2000 at Polytechnic Seberang Perai in the Chemistry category. The winning project was aluminium recycle. The Biology team, meanwhile, won a consolation prize.

7. Anglo-Chinese School in Perak, 122 years old, established 1895

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It is the oldest and one of the most prestigious schools in the state of Perak, Malaysia. Situated in Ipoh, the facilities include a swimming pool, indoor badminton stadium, gymnasium, an extensive library, also computer and science laboratories. This school recently became famous for its biggest "Rice kolam" feat, which entered the Malaysia Book of Records, and for the largest aluminium structure made from recycled cans, which also entered the Malaysia Book of Records.

Image via HBP

8. Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, 122 years old, established 1893

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UPDATED: The success of the Raffles Institution in Singapore saw the establishment of Victoria Institution (VI) in Malaysia in 1893. The school was officially opened during the British Occupation in July 1894 at Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur. It is named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom to commemorate her golden jubilee.

It has a clock tower overlooking two sports pavillion, a vast field, swimming pool and synthetic track making it the only school in the region with these facilities. The structures that make up the institution itself are a heritage of the nation with the distinctive "E" shape of the main block. Although since then, more blocks have been added to the school.

Image via Ghosts Malaysia

9. St. Michael's Institution in Perak, 102 years old, established 1912

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St Michael's Institution (SMI) is a well-known public secondary school in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. The school has a long history of events such as the annual drama play, which was first held more than sixty years ago and is still continuing. St Michael's Institution is part of the La Sallian worldwide community of schools. The Ipoh City Council has designated the original building block as a historical landmark in Ipoh. It received a five-star rating from the Education Ministry of Perak.

Image via Wikipedia

10. St. John's Institution in Kuala Lumpur, 111 years old, established 1904

It is one of the oldest schools in Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur being established in 1904 at the request of the Education Department and the then Bishop of Malacca, Mgr. Fee. The La Sallian Brothers opened, St.John's Institution or SMK St. John as a premier secondary school for boys and only girls for Form Six.

Also, it is one of the very few schools in Malaysia which enrols visually impaired students in the Form Six classes. As part of their curriculum, they attend classes with the rest of the students. The school has a Resource Room for the visually impaired students attended by specially trained teachers and a voluntary students club.

11. St George's Girls' School in Penang, 131 years old, established 1884

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Also called SMK (P) St.George, it is a secondary school for girls located at Jalan Macalister, Georgetown. It was named after St. George, the patron saint of English whose name is often used throughout the British Empire for schools and churches established by Anglican missionaries.

The school traces its history to informal classes by missionary Mrs. Biggs, wife of Reverend Biggs L.C. from Colonial Church of St.George. At that time, classes were held at their home called "The Manse", located at Farquhar Street.

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12. Convent Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur, 116 years old, established 1899

An all-girls secondary school located at Bukit Nanas, the school was started by a group of nuns, ’The Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus’. They were Mother St. Andre, St. Sabine and Sr. Madeline from Singapore with the intention of starting a school for children. On 16 December 2008, Pos Malaysia issued a premium set of four commemorative stamps and first day cover to the school in honour of its Premier Schools of Malaysia status in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities.

11. SMK Methodist (ACS) in Klang, 122 years old, established 1893

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The Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) is a semi-government secondary school in Jalan Melawis and Jalan Raya Barat in Klang. It is the oldest school in the state of Selangor and third oldest in Malaysia. ACS was founded and established on 10 March 1893, and officially opened by Sir William Hood Treacher making it the first English medium school during its time.

12. English College in Johor Bahru, 101 years old, established 1914

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Also known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, it is dubbed "The Pride Of Johore" as it is an old premier school in Malaysia. The all-boys school is under the royal patronage of the Sultanate of Johor.

It is one of the 10 oldest English institutions in Malaysia and the oldest school in Johor. The education system adopted the British syllabus which became a model for other English medium schools in Johor. The teachers of the school were initially recruited from Europe then were locally-trained to teach Malay subjects.

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13. St. Paul's Institution in Negeri Sembilan, 116 years old, established 1899

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Also known as SMK St Paul, it is a high school for boys and only girls for form 6. It is one of the oldest schools in Seremban and the first English school in the state. Founded by Father Catesson of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, is was named after Saint Paul.

It was established on 18 June 1899 by Sir Charles Mitchell, assisted by the British Resident for Negeri Sembilan, Mr. E.W. Birch. On 13 January 1942, the Japanese occupied Seremban and during the war served as a Japanese Technical School. After the occupation, it was taken over by the La Sallian Brothers, which saw its student enrolment rise and new buildings being erected.

14. SMK St. Luke in Sarawak, 152 years old, established 1863

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Founded by Reverend Father William Crossland in 1863. He came from Europe and was sent to Banting, an Iban village in the district of Lingga, Sri Aman. After a few months of running tasks missionaries there, Reverend Crossland set up a new station at Sabu, the same site SK St. Lawrence lies today. He began his efforts to provide education to the children of indigenous people. His noble efforts to educate in St. Luke was continued by its peers.

Has your school hit the 100-year-old mark? Comment below, let us know in the comment section below!

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