The sound of the school bell often brings to mind some of the most memorable times of one’s school days. In 1979, nine schools amongst the traditional Chinese medium schools were designated as Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, by the Ministry of Education. Schools under the SAP programme provided students with both English and Chinese language learning environments. To keep abreast with the times, these schools went through significant transformations, but they still held firm to the mission of cultivating students who would make great contributions to the society.
“When the Bell Rings” is an eight-episode documentary series by Tuesday Report (a documentary series by MediaCorp Channel 8), and it tells the stories of these schools’ transformations, through the experiences of graduates from different eras and backgrounds.
The eighth and final episode of the documentary series casts the spotlight on Dunman High School (DHS), the second Chinese school set up by the government in 1956. The school developed a strong literary culture under the leadership of renowned calligrapher Mr Chen Jen Hao, who served as DHS’ principal in the early years. The documentary also talks about the special relationship Dunmanians have with Casuarina trees, which were in abundance at the old school compound at Dunman Road, and are fondly remembered by generations of alumni.
Over the past 60 years, DHS has transformed from a traditional Chinese medium school to a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school, and then an Autonomous and Integrated Programme (IP) school. Throughout this journey, besides the efforts of various generations of students, staff, and school principals who have forged on through this transformative process, the School Advisory Committee (SAC), the Dunman High School Alumni (DHSA), as well as the Parents’ Support Group (PSG), have also made great contributions to the school:
In 1998, Mr Sam Goi Seng Hui took over the reins of the SAC as its chairman. For the past 20 years, under Mr Goi’s leadership, the SAC has served the school with distinction, playing an instrumental role in the development of DHS into what it is today.
With DHSA President, Mr Teo Kek Yeng, First Vice-President, Mdm Lee Ai Lan June, and Second Vice-President, Mr Khoo Boo Liat, at the helm, the DHSA has also given much of themselves in many ways, not least of which by being ardent supporters of many of DHS’ school activities and events, both physically and financially.
Established in 2000, the PSG has also grown to be an invaluable partner, playing a crucial role by working together with the School Management in various areas, so as to bring DHS to greater heights.
The Dunman High family is deeply grateful to all our forerunners and core partners who have selflessly offered their time, energy, and resources, to bring DHS to where we are now.
Tuesday Report held a campus preview screening session for students and staff at DHS on 30 Aug 2017 (Wed), Teachers’ Day, which was attended by about 50 ex-principals, ex-school staff, PSG members, and School Alumni. This included Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, Ms Low Yen Ling, who graced the occasion as the Guest-of-Honour.
The documentary was screened on television on 5 Sept 2017 (Tue).
钟声代表纯真的年代、感恩的情怀。对历经岁月转折的传统华校而言，钟声里交织着欢笑泪水。 1979年教育部进行改革，在众多的华校中，九所成为特选中学，提供华文与英文同为第一语文水准的课程。有的则转变为邻里中学，教导第一语文水准的英文课。 为了因应教育制度的变迁，这些学校付出不少心力摸索、坚持和牺牲，换来柳暗花明的局面。十年树木，百年树人，今天，它们所栽培的人才遍布海内外各领域。 这个系列透过8所中学的师长和校友的经历，诉说传统华校的转型和变迁历程。
You may view the full documentary at this link below:
You may also view the following related video clips below:
Interview with Ex-Principal Mr Lim Nai Yan on Environment & Opportunities for Growth as Key Considerations for New DHS Campus Grounds
When the principal at that time, Mr Lim Nai Yan, decided to situate the new Dunman High campus at Tanjong Rhu, several alumni expressed feelings of regret and longing for the Casuarina trees that lined Dunman Road at the old campus. But Mr Lim pressed on with the decision to move, owing to the good environment and various opportunities for growth at the new site at Tanjong Rhu.
Interview with Ex-Principal Dr Fu Suan Fong on his Happy School Days by the Casuarina Trees
After 31 years since his graduation from Dunman High School, Dr Foo Suan Fong returned to be the principal of Dunman High School for 7 years. In the interview, Dr Foo recounts how his six years of student life at Dunman High, surrounded by the Casuarina trees, was exceptionally enjoyable as the academic workload was not as heavy back then, and his parents were also less strict with him.
林丙良校友与符传丰校长访谈 (德明学子 —— 情系木麻黄)
Interview with Ex-Dunmanian Mr Lim Pia Leong and Ex-Principal Dr Foo Suan Fong
Beside the basketball courts at the old Dunman High School campus, there used to be a row of about ten Casuarina trees, which had over time grown to become a symbol of Dunman High. When the school moved to Tanjong Rhu, only one Casuarina tree from the old campus was brought over to the new campus. But since then, many other Casuarina trees have been planted all around the new campus, so as to ensure that the heritage lives on.
Mr Ng Ser Miang: Reminiscing Dunman High
Mr Ng Ser Miang is a member of the International Olympic Committee. In the interview, he recounts his three years at Dunman High School as if it were just yesterday.
The Unforgettable Sound of the Casuarina Trees
Dunmanians back in the early days, often found their four or six years spent at Dunman High by the Casuarina trees an unforgettable one. Mr and Mrs Lee recount how they met during their school years, owing largely to a strong literary culture in school.