The Tonkin Free School ( vi|Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục, ) was a short-lived but historically significant educational institution in Hanoi
that aimed to reform Vietnamese society under the French protectorate during the beginning of the 20th century.
The school was founded in March 1907, run by Lương Văn Can
with the participation of many nationalists, including Phan Bội Châu
and Phan Chu Trinh
. It stemmed from the movement of the same name, which aimed to modernize Vietnamese society by abandoning Confucianism
and adopting new ideas from the West and Japan
. In particular, it promoted the Vietnamese alphabet
script for writing Vietnamese
in place of classical Chinese by publishing educational materials and newspapers using these script, as a new vehicle of instruction. The schools offered free courses to anyone who wanted to learn about the modern spirit. The teachers at the school at 59 Hàng Đàn included Phạm Duy Tốn
[Nguyễn Đình Hoà ''From the City Inside the Red River: A Cultural Memoir'' 1999 Page 76 "the Association for Mutual Education (Hội Trí Tri) at 59 Fan Street. ... August 22, 1907, of the same paper further revealed, on page 348, that the three elementary grades were taught ... Trần Văn Hùng, Vũ Văn Trw and Phạm Duy Tốn, the latter a scholar-publicist and father of Professor Phạm Duy-Khiem and musician Phạm Duy-Ca'n, a.k.a. Phạm Duy. On November 16, 1943, Governor-General Decoux, resident-sup ...]
The school operated legally for several months before the French authorities closed it down in November. In March 1908, a tax revolt in Annam
and an attempted poisoning of French soldiers
in Hanoi were blamed on the leaders of the school by the French. Subsequently, all the leaders were arrested and the school's publications were suppressed.
The school aimed at making the Vietnamese ‘modern’. It taught subjects like science, hygiene and French generally at evenings.
* Société d’Enseignement Mutuel du Tonkin
Category:Vietnamese independence movement
Category:Schools in Vietnam
Category:Defunct schools in Vietnam
Category:Vietnamese writing systems
Category:Educational institutions established in 1907
Category:Educational institutions disestablished in 1907
Category:Phan Bội Châu