Kuen Cheng Girls School

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Kuen Cheng High School
Kūn chéng zhōngxué
Jalan Syed Putra
Jalan Syed Putra , Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Selangor, Malaysia, 50460 50460
School type Private Independent Chinese secondary school
Motto 礼、义、廉、耻
(Propriety, Justice, Honesty, Dignity)
Founded 1908
Founder Wu Xuehua
Status Deceased
Principal Gooi Swee Gaik
Teaching staff 200
Grades 5/6
Enrollment 3,962 (2015)
Education system Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
Classes offered Lower Secondary 1–3, Higher Secondary 1–3
Medium of language Mandarin
Hours in school day 8–10
Classrooms Approximately 100
School fees RM360/RM410

Kuen Cheng High School (KCHS) or SM (Persendirian) Kuen Cheng (Chinese: "坤成中学"), formerly known as Kuen Cheng Girls' High School (Chinese: "坤成女子中学"), is a private secondary Chinese school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which was established in 1908. The school is located at Jalan Syed Putra near Istana Negara, and is in between Brickfields and Bukit Petaling.

In 2008, the school transitioned from an all-girls school to a coeducational school. There was some opposition from former female graduates who wanted the school to retain its position as an all-girls school.[1] Later in 2008 after becoming coeducational, the school officially changed its name to Kuen Cheng High School.


Over the years, 14 principals have been in office. Principals had complete authority over both the primary school and the secondary school until 1957, when these roles were split due to a government education development plan that might have been affected if the joint administration had continued. After 1957, each division (secondary school and primary school) has had separate administrative units. From 1990 to the present, Gooi Swee Gaik has been in charge of the secondary school. She is the longest serving principal in the school's history. It is believed that her opposition to retire is due to the lack of suitable candidates for the post of principal and her unwillingness to let go of the post she has so dearly held on to for over 20 years.[2]

Past and Present[edit]

Chinese education in Malaysia boasts more than a century, and Kuen Cheng High School was founded in the year 1908. In 2015, the school celebrates its 107th anniversary commemoration, making it one of the oldest and most successful educational establishments in Malaysia.

Kuen Cheng High School was the first educational institution in Malaysia to offer a proper education to females. The school functioned to teach girls at a time when the traditional culture considered female education to be less important. The school aimed to train and nurture female elites in a society where educated females were a rarity.

Based on the prevailing social neglect of women's education, the founders of Kuen Cheng Girls' High School, Miss Wu Xuehua, Zhong Zhuo Jing, and his wife, Yoshiko Watanabe, upheld female education and aimed to break the traditional concept. The school was given the name "Kuen Cheng Girls' School" and its first location was at Kampung Kuala Lumpur in a two-story shophouse. The school aimed to implement a hybrid teaching system, focusing on the Chinese Language, characters, arithmetic and more. There were a mere 18 students when the school first started.

In 1909, the school moved to Harmony Street and began to develop. In 1915, the school founded its own kindergarten, opening up opportunities in Chinese education for young children. In 1936, Kuen Cheng was commissioned by the Selangor Department of Education to be an excellent training institution for teachers, and nurtured many outstanding teachers, making great contributions to Chinese education. In 1941 during World War II, the Japanese army invaded the country, and the school was forced to closed. After the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the school and its kindergarten were reopened with the support of a group of enthusiastic educators. The school was officially functioning again in 1946. In 1956, the school moved to its current location at Jalan Syed Putra. In 1957, there were 49 students in the first class of graduates. In 1962, Kuen Cheng strived to preserve Chinese education and decided to maintain its position as an independent Chinese school, and its status was officially changed to an "independent secondary school", not receiving any funding from the federal government.

Chinese education has developed for more than half a century, and consists of a mature syllabus and system. In 2008, the 100th year since Kuen Cheng was founded, Kuen Cheng decided to convert its enrollment from all girls to a co-ed system, in order to keep up with the culture of a modern society, where males and females are viewed equally and have equal rights. In the same year, the school received its first class of male students, despite resentments from some alumni. In 2013, Kuen Cheng High School's 57th year of Higher 6 graduates became the first co-ed graduates of the school.

In 2015, Kuen Cheng Kindergarten celebrates its 100th anniversary commemoration. A small structure built out of colored plastic blocks in the shape of the number '100' was placed on a wooden pedestal near the kindergarten's entrance to mark this anniversary.

Presently, the restructuring of the school from an all-girls school to a co-ed system seems to have many benefits, as the student population soared to new heights, with the number of enrolled students this year exceeding 3300 students. The school now has 100% full enrollment, and had many applicants rejected due to the high number of applications to the school.


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