MAKTAB SULTAN ABU BAKAR (ENGLISH COLLEGE)Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, which is also known as English College is a premier school located in the southernmost state of Malaysia, Johor. It is located in the bustling city of Johor Bahru and caters for students studying in the secondary level of education in Malaysia.
- HistoryEnglish College was set up on the 21st of March, 1914. Its initial enrolment comprised 21 selected students from the Bukit Zahrah School. The first site of EC was in the area of the Sungai Chat palace. The students were to study under the tutelage of two European teachers namely Mr. Morrison and Mr. Holman. These 21 students were the pioneers of EC and they formed the nucleus of the present English College or Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar.
The system of administration used in EC was similar to that used in distinguished British schools. English College became the model for other English medium schools in Johor Bahru. The school started with a small number of staff who were wholly European but later began to absorb locally trained teachers. In 1918 after the end of the First World War, EC for the first time offered the Junior Cambridge examinations. This was later followed by the Senior Cambridge examinations. However, due to several discouraging problems, the school failed to achieve its expected mark. This resulted in its temporary close-down in 1928. EC was promptly reopened in May that same year, after several improvements in administration were appropriated. By the end of 1928, the enrolment had risen to 143 selected students who specialized in Science, Mathematics and English.
In late 1930's, the school was moved to its present site. The original building consisted only of the rambling white blocks that made up the forefront of the school, today. The official opening of the new building was formalized in early 1931. The school then embarked on its record of academy excellence and in the ensuing years, produced many students of high calibre and intellect, many of whom went on to contribute greatly to the progress of the independent Malaya.
The Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945, saw a break era for EC. The school was converted into factory and later also served its role as a military hospital. The school was reopened after the war in January 1946. the appointment of Mr. H. L. Hill as the Principal of EC, brought new hope to the school. Under his expert guidance and mentorship, the school found itself once again on the road to excellence.
In early 1960, the name English College was officially changed to “Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar”. This, in the honour of the Father of Johor, Sultan Abu Bakar, the then ruler of Johor. This was also in line with the new independence of the nation. In 1961 the first uniform and the present school badge of EC were worn for the first time. This was followed by the school song, sung for the first time on the 21st of March, 1969. The lyrics of the song were compiled by En. Yusof bin Karto and the music composed by Mr. Lim Teck Siang.
The following three decades brought more progress and expansion to the school. A school fund set up in 1973 resulted in the construction of the Sports Complex and Library Block. The school celebrated its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary in August, 1974 and this proud event was graced by the third Prime Minister of Malaysia – Tun Hussein Onn who was also a former student from EC. The 1980's saw further progress in the infrastructure and facilities of the school. By the early 1990's, the school was well on its way to establishing its position as a premier school in the country. The construction of a Conference Room, an Audio-Visual Room, new KBSM classes and the unit for the 'Pendidikan Khas' classes served to act as a catalyst that propelled the school towards greater heights of academic and co-curriculor excellence.