“Now we want Malays to awake” : Malay women teachers in colonial Johor and their legacy

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Copyright: Doukakis, Anna Maree
This thesis focuses on Malay women teachers and girls’ schooling in British Malaya during the 1920s and 1930s, when educational opportunities for Malay girls were expanding. It discusses the teachers’ agendas, their roles as leaders, authors and publishers, and their participation in national politics and women s movements following World War II. The thesis addresses whether and how Malay female pioneers for girls’ education are treated in general and in specialist academic literature. The research also explores the increasing impact of global forces of modernisation in Malaya. It draws on primary and secondary sources in English, Malay and Jawi Malay for case studies of: the pioneer of girls’ schooling, Zain bte Sulaiman, who was supervisor of Malay girls schools in Johor between 1926 and 1948; the professional association of Malay women teachers in Johor, which she founded, and its publication Bulan Melayu; and the Malay Women s Training College, the first Malaya-wide residential teacher training institute for Malay female students. Malay women teachers contributed to the form and content of the schools instructing girls using the Malay vernacular. They negotiated with Malaya s royal and colonial administrators to achieve positions of leadership and influence, and they contributed to the formation of a peninsula-wide Malay identity. Study of the roles and experiences of Malay women in the 1930s contributes to the understanding of Malay nationalism, Malay Islam and the public place of Malay women in the Federation of Malaysia today.
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Doukakis, Anna Maree
Taylor, Jean Gelman
Roces, Mina
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PhD Doctorate
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