Fourteen primary schools and six secondary schools will merge in 2019, due to smaller cohort sizes and changing demographics across housing estates, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Thursday (Apr 20).
The changing demographics have resulted in an uneven distribution of students across primary and secondary schools, the ministry said at a briefing.
Demand for Primary 1 places in mature estates has fallen, resulting in surplus places and low enrolment in some schools. But at younger estates, new schools may need to be built to accommodate a higher demand for school places there, MOE said.
The primary schools being merged are:
– East View and Junyuan Primary, to be located on the site of Junyuan Primary.
– Balestier Hill and Bendemeer Primary, to be located on the site of Bendemeer Primary.
– Da Qiao and Jing Shan Primary, to be located on the site of Jing Shan Primary.
– Damai and East Coast Primary, to be located on the site of Damai Primary.
– Coral and White Sands Primary, to be located on the site of White Sands Primary.
– Casuarina and Loyang Primary, to be located on the site of Casuarina Primary.
– Cedar and MacPherson Primary, to be located on the site of Cedar Primary.
A new primary school in Sengkang, Fern Green Primary, will begin operations in 2018. MOE said this is to meet the high demand for school places in the estate.
The secondary schools to be merged are:
– Yuhua and Shuqun Secondary, to be located on the site of Yuhua Secondary.
– East Spring and East View Secondary, to be located on the site of East Spring Secondary.
– Hong Kah and Jurongville Secondary, to be located on the site of Jurongville Secondary.
For the first time, eight junior colleges will also be merged, making this is the largest school merging exercise in the past decade.
The eight government junior colleges that will be merged in 2019 were selected because of the need to ensure a good spread of JCs across the island, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) at a press briefing on Thursday (Apr 20).
This is partly why even schools with high entry requirements such as Anderson Junior College (AJC) – which had an entry score of eight and nine points for the science and arts courses respectively in 2016, lower than schools such as Catholic Junior College (CJC) – will have to be merged.
AJC will take in Serangoon JC, which has also steadily climbed up the ranks since it opened in 1988. In 2016, it had an entry score of 11 points for both science and arts courses, compared to 20 when it started out. The new school will be located at AJC’s Yio Chu Kang site to serve the north-east area.
In 2019, Jurong and Pioneer JCs will also be merged to form a JC in the west; Innova and Yishun JCs in the north; and Tampines and Meridian JCs in the east. These schools will be located at the latter-named sites. These sites were chosen based on the quality of infrastructure, and their accessibility to transport, said the MOE.
Sources: www.channelnewsasia.com, www.straitstimes.com