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Experiences In School

Individual Contribution HI 2E6 - Tiffany (15) [Grp 7]

In The Grip of a Crisis : The Experiences of a Teenager during the Japanese Occupation

In The Grip of a Crisis : The Experiences of a Teenager during the Japanese Occupation

This is a book by Rudy Mosbergen about his teenage years in Singapore during the Japanese occupation. Back then, those who went to school learnt Japanese through music & songs and lessons such as mathematics & PE were taught in Japanese. English was not used by teachers and students had to make a change.

This book has helped me to understand that the Japanese made great efforts to change Singapore and its future generations by starting from the youth of Singapore. It tells me that the students had to conform to the new standards because the Japanese sought a change in the society of Singapore and wanted the roots of the Japanese to grow within the youth.

[Pg 175-176]

nlb.gov.sg
Lee Kip Lin

Lee Kip Lin

This oral history interview is about the education back then before the Japanese occupation. It includes the types of subjects that were studied by teenagers and the CCAs that they were involved in. The subjects include Science, Latin, History, Geography, Elementary Mathematics, English, English Literature & Art. The CCAs were mostly sports. However, the camera club was unable to continue when the war came as the price of a camera was too much for the school.

This source shows that most of the teenagers chose to work instead of studying during the Japanese occupation. The prices of various items back then also increased due to the Japanese occupation, thus affecting the education of many youths. The war also caused a disruption to their education, causing the students to be unable to continue their studies as most schools were shut down.


[Reel 1 Pg 7-10]

nas.gov.sg
Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (1926-2008)

Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (1926-2008)

During the Japanese occupation, the people of Singapore were strongly encouraged to learn Japanese. The Japanese government knew that most people might not be able to afford to let their children go to school so language centres were built. They made it clear that those who could speak and understood Japanese stood a chance to get better, well-paid jobs to attract even more youths.

This source showed me that Japanese was very important back in those days, to the Japanese and to the people. The Japanese needed this language to cultivate their culture in the minds of Singapore's youths and to make Singapore a part of Japanese land. For the people, it could mean a whole new life ahead of them where they won't know what the Japanese rule could result in. Learning Japanese could be crucial for their future.

nas.gov.sg
Charlie Gan Hock Hye

Charlie Gan Hock Hye

This is an oral history interview about how the people of Singapore were encouraged to learn Japanese but some teenagers who attended classes did not take them seriously despite the many benefits the Japanese provided for those who excelled in it. It is also a proof of the Japanese efforts to get everyone to learn Japanese.

This source tells me that the Japanese strongly encouraged the people to study Japanese by using incentives to attract teenagers. Back then, the prices of items rose without fail so many people had financial difficulties. The Japanese then used this to attract teenagers to study Japanese and slowly let them integrate into their type of lifestyle and society. This way, Singapore could become completely controlled by the Japanese, in terms of language, etc.

[Reel 6 Pg 1]

nas.gov.sg
Dr Tan Ban Cheng

Dr Tan Ban Cheng

This oral history source is about the conditions of schools back then and how Dr Tan Ban Cheng's studies during the Japanese occupation had benefitted him, compared to his peers who did not. Studying during the Japanese occupation had helped him to be able to keep up with schoolwork and not experience any difficulties in catching up. However, school facilities back then were quite poor and there was a shortage of textbooks until a factory in Singapore started mass producing textbooks.

This source is relevant because it tells me that schools in the past were not well-maintained. Even when the Japanese came, they did not use any funds to improve the studying environment of the students despite promises to make Singapore a better place for all. This also shows that studying was not convenient for the youths and taking on jobs was a more preferred choice for many.

[Reel 9 Pg 1-3]

nas.gov.sg