History of Ping Yi
The Humble Beginnings
Pin Ghee Public School was started in 1930 in the Chai Chee area where there were no major schools except for a few private ones. This old-style primary school was formed when prominent residents of the district, Chen Weiming, Chen Chenji, Xu Hanxiao, Lai Chuang and others, felt that there was a substantial number of children in the district who have reached school going age but had no institution available for them.
Towards a Full-fledged Public School
During the Japanese Occupation, Pin Ghee Public School was closed down completely, reopening only after the war. The Japanese set up a registration centre at the school. This was part of the great Sook Ching massacre carried out by the Japanese during WWII.
Pin Ghee Public School had a slow start in reopening after the war. The school started the year by emphasizing the need to foster “a spirit of educating good citizens for the next generation”.
In 1957, the school was renamed Pin Ghee High School with an enrolment of about three hundred secondary students. It was split into two sessions to accommodate both primary and secondary schools. The school also managed to establish a good ECA programme and many students excelled in the various sports and games. The first batch of secondary students graduated in 1961.
School and National Politics: the Turbulent Sixties
During the 1960s, the students of Pin Ghee, like other Chinese students elsewhere, were caught up in the anti-establishment movements of the times, the influence of communism and social revolution.
Change and Closure
Towards the mid-1970s, the politicized nature of the Chinese school together with structural economic changes in Singapore, Chinese schools became unattractive as a choice of educational institution for Chinese parents. Pin Ghee too, saw a drastic drop in enrolment levels. It was this, coupled with the acquisition of the school’s land by the government, resulted in the closure of Pin Ghee Public School in 1976.
A New Beginning
Ping Yi’s Growth over the Years