UNDERSTANDING THE TONKIN FREE SCHOOL MOVEMENT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF APPLYING ITS VALUABLE LESSONS IN VIETNAM’S CURRENTLY EDUCATIONAL REFORM
The society of Vietnam from the late 19th century to the early 20th century had witnessed lots of political, economic, sociocultural and educational changes. Her feudal and semi-colonial society was being shaken and replaced with emerging quasi-capitalist elements. Education was clearly seen as the most dominant changes during this time. The French placed special attention to developing its colonized nations’ education, including Vietnam’s education as a tool called ‘civilization mission’ to serve for the French domination. The Vietnamese patriotic intellectuals utilized French schools to gain promotion, to propagandize their nationalism ideologies, or simply to get certificates to hold positions in the changing society. In the summer of 1906, Phan Châu Trinh returned Vietnam, along with Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Trần Quý Cáp continued renovation campaign, not only in Quảng Nam but also in neighboring provinces, made it a whole Modernization Movement [Phong trào Duy Tân] with slogan "Broaden the People’s Mind, Invigorate the People’s Spirit, then Enrich the People’s Well-being" (Vietnamese: Khai dân trí, chấn dân khí, hậu dân sinh). In Tonkin (from 1884 to early 1945, this term was used for the French protectorate of Tonkin -the Northern region), the shift from Confucian classes to the ‘Tonkin Free Schools’ taking place in 1906 with some educational reforms. This paper argues that schools with their reforms, teachers, curriculum, and ethics created a new generation of Vietnamese patriotic intellectuals, and discusses some lessons learned for Vietnam’s currently educational reform.
colonized nations’ education, educational reform, French domination, patriotic intellectuals, Tonkin Free School