Yat Sen Secondary School

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History of Yat Secondary School

On June 15th, 1936, the Fiji Chinese School opened its doors to provide the Chinese community with opportunities for worthwhile learning. The Chinese community of the 1930s decided to have its own school, first, to provide basic training in English Language so that students would be able to communicate with the wider community. The second aim was to have those born in Fiji retain their Chinese heritage and culture. The Chinese community fundraised and paid 1000 pounds to the Anglican Church for the Gordon Street property where Yat Sen was first built. Behind the fundraising was a group of dedicated people who gave their time and effort and finance generously to make the building of the Fiji Chinese Primary School a success. All Chinese were encouraged to support the school financially, as the school did not receive government aid from 1936 - 1946. The school opened with a total of 17 pupils. There was a roll of 12 boys and 5 girls but the number of pupils kept on increasing. For the next 20 years the standard of education became better and better and part of this credit goes to the teachers' hard work and dedication. As a result, the Chinese people in Fiji began to feel proud of their community and more Chinese started to send their children to the Fiji Chinese School to get a good education. Because of the increasing numbers of pupils, The Fiji Chinese School shifted its location to Flagstaff. The school opened with 124 pupils. In 1976 the Fiji Chinese School changed its name to Yat Sen, which is named after Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the founding father of the Republic of China. More classrooms were built to accommodate the students and more lessons and subjects were beginning to be taught to students by teachers, not only English and Chinese. During this time students also participated in extra curricular activities such as cultural dances and sports competitions. This was a sign that the students showed pride in their school. In the same year, Yat Sen was opened to all races and two streams of classes commenced. Harmony and co-operation bought different races together in unity. Students were given opportunities to learn others' customs, creeds and traditions. On 20th January 1986, the Yat Sen Secondary School was opened with 2 classrooms with 68 students but now there are well over 10 classrooms. There are also 2 laboratories, 1 computer laboratory, 1 Technical Drawing room and 1 Secretarial Studies room. The secondary school has expanded enormously over the past decade. Also new subjects and extra curricular activities have been introduced to students to learn to broaden their knowledge. The Yat Sen Secondary School has celebrated its 10th anniversary. The celebration of another anniversary of Yat Sen is on the 'Yat Sen Day'. The day is to commemorate those people who have contributed to our school. Other than the Board of the Chinese Education Society, organizations such as the "PTFA" has been of great help and support to Yat Sen. Overall, Yat Sen School has been a success. Yat Sen has grown from 17 pupils to well over 1100, 392 of who are in the secondary school from Forms 3 - 7, in streams of 2s. The school has expanded tremendously to accommodate the students. The demand for places in the school has exceeded its intake. The reason is that Yat Sen's standard of education is improving to match international standards. Those who have contributed to the school will now be very proud of it as Yat Sen is now one of the most reputable and respected schools in Fiji and we as the students of Yat Sen hope that the school will continue its good work of turning out fine citizens of Fiji and wish Yat Sen all the success in its future endeavours. 

By Nitisha Lal & Johnson Yuen


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