Resistance in Schools (2. Protest in Saigon Native Girls School ( (A…
Resistance in Schools
2. Protest in Saigon Native Girls School
A major protest occured in Saigon Native Girls School.
A Vietnamese girl sitting in the front row was asked to move to the back to allow a French girl to occupy the front bench.
The girl refused and the Principal, a colon, expelled her.
Angry students who protested were expelled too and these led to more protests.
When the situation got out of control, the government forced the school to take back the students
The Principal reluctantly agreed but he warned the students that he would crush all Vietnamese under his feet and that he would leave Vietnam only if Vietnamese no longer inhabited Cochinchina (southern part of Vietnam)
3. Other Student Protests
Students also protested the governments policy of preventing the Vietnamese from qualifying for white collar jobs
The educated students had patriotic feelings and felt it was their duty to work for the benefit of the society
This created conflict between the students and the French as well as the traditional elite
The students started many political parties such as “Party of Young Annan” and published nationalist journals such as “Annanese Student”
4. Conclusion: School's role in battle against French
The French established schools to make the Vietnamese believe in the superiority of the French civilisation and the inferiority of the Vietnamese.
They tried to change the values and customs of the Vietnamese people by controlling education
But the educated Vietnamese intellectuals felt that they were losing their territory and their identity
They felt that the French devalued their culture and customs making the Vietnamese people develop a master-slave mentality.
The battle against French education became a battle for independence.
1. Resistance by teachers
Many Vietnamese teachers quietely modified what was being taught and critiscised what was given in the textbooks
As the number of Vietnamese teachers increased, it became difficult for the French to control what was being taught
They resorted to both open opposition and silent resistance
Teachers and students did not blindly follow the curriculum