'"The wider aspects of Kampong Kirkby": A new window on the Malayan teachers' training college in lancashire, England, 1952-62'
In 1952 the first intake of student teachers from Malaya arrived at Kirkby training college in the north of England. This was the beginning of a remarkable eleven-year international and transnational project to help meet a shortage of staff in Malayan schools. Widely available reminiscences of former students and local residents exist but this article gives a fuller picture by referencing newspaper features and other sources. These show that, despite the generally positive memories of individuals, there were criticisms of the scheme in Malaya. Exploration of these complaints provides a wider context for the history of the college than is currently available and shows that the dissatisfaction often mirrored wider concerns within the Malayan population and illustrates the disapproval with which some people regarded the students and the scheme. This negativity was sometimes because of perceived unwarranted glamour attached to Kirkby and sometimes because of a wish to promote the quality of Malaya-based teacher training. The Kirkby scheme existed during the very last years of Malaya’s place in the former British Empire and came to an end a few years after Britain’s control of Malaya concluded in 1957. During twenty-first century re-evaluations of the Empire, this investigation sheds light on a colonised nation’s attitudes towards Britain.
Author affiliationSchool of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester
- VoR (Version of Record)