Singapore

Merged JCs will take on combined original names: MOE


The issue of new names for eight junior colleges merging next year has been settled.

The four merged schools will take on the colleges' original names, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced yesterday.

For each pair, the name of the older JC will come first to reflect its longer history and heritage, it said.

Anderson JC and Serangoon JC will be known as Anderson Serangoon JC, and Innova JC and Yishun JC will become Yishun Innova JC.

Meridian JC and Tampines JC will be Tampines Meridian JC, and Jurong JC and Pioneer JC will be called Jurong Pioneer JC.

The issue surfaced when the alumni of some JCs were disappointed to learn that their alma mater would be merged with another school and could lose their name in the process to the other institution.

Four of the current JC principals will continue as principal-designates of the merged JCs, starting yesterday.

The other four will be redeployed to MOE headquarters or to other schools by next year.

This is the first time JCs are being merged.

The MOE, when announcing the move in April last year, had said it was due to Singapore's declining birth rate.

JC intake is expected to drop by a fifth, going from 16,000 in 2010 to 12,800 next year.

With the mergers, there will be 19 JCs next year.

Ms Liew Wei Li, MOE's deputy director-general of education (schools), said that in arriving at the final names, the ministry considered factors such as the schools' history and heritage, and their role in the community.

In the past year, the JC principals also discussed the naming issue with alumni associations, students, past and present staff and school advisory committees.

Ms Liew said: "As the eight merging JCs form a substantial portion of our JC landscape, we believe that retaining the names of both colleges will allow the merging JCs to unite their strengths and move forward as a combined entity to forge a new journey together."

Madam Rosemah Rashid, subject head of Malay language and Tamil language at Tampines JC, said: "It's good to have both names as both colleges have heritage.

"Alumni from both sides will also not be alienated and will come back to contribute as the names are still familiar to them."

Dr Jeremy Lim, chairman of Meridian JC's school advisory committee, said keeping both names is an "understandable decision".

"Moving forward, we would have to figure out the operational issues like how to make the long name work, and what students from the school would be known as."

ateng@sph.com.sg

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