The MOE announced today that 28 schools would be affected in the latest school merge in Singapore! Read what it implies...
In the clearest indication that the birth rate in Singapore is declining, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced today in its press release that, 28 schools in Singapore - 14 primary schools , 6 secondary schools and 8 junior colleges to be exact, would be merged in 2 years, that is, in year 2019.
Reason for latest school merge in Singapore
The MOE cites the following reasons for the biggest school merger exercise in Singapore in two decades:
- Fall in birth rate in Singapore : The declining birth rate means less demand and need for places in school.
- Shift in demand: There also seems to be a shift in the geographical distribution of the school-going population. Newer housing estates continue to have demand for school places, while those in mature estates have dropped.
Which is why, one new school is still set to start operations and admit its P1 cohort in 2018 - Fern Green Primary in Sengkang.
- For children to enjoy a more meaningful educational experience: Sufficient 'critical mass' is needed for a school to offer a good range of educational programmes and co-curricular activities (CCAs) for its students.
A school with less number of students will find it challenging to offer such a range, and this would impact its students’ learning experiences. Lower enrolment will also impact junior colleges in time to come, and they would find it tough to offer a wide range of subject combinations and co-curricular activities.
While primary and secondary schools in Singapore have previously been merged, this is the first time Junior colleges are going to be impacted. According to The Straits Times, junior college student intake is now expected to drop by a fifth, going from 16,000 in 2010 to 12,800 in 2019.
Ms Liew Wei Li, director of schools at MOE, has been quoted by The Straits Times as saying, “We have thought through the various options. This is a very difficult decision. We have agonised over it. We find that we have little choice but to merge the JCs, in order that we can provide that kind of opportunities and range of choices for the students to come.”
Schools impacted by latest school merge in Singapore
Meanwhile, the picture below shows the primary and secondary schools, and junior colleges which would be affected by this decision, as well as where the location of the newly merged schools would be:
Apparently, the names of the newly merged schools will be announced at a later date.
Also, all staff, including teachers will be affected by this merger. However, the MOE has assured that none of the teachers will lose their jobs; they will either join these merged schools, or be redeployed to other schools or MOE headquarters. Some may even end up teaching at a different level, such as moving from a junior college to a secondary school. MOE will however, make sure that these teachers get the appropriate training essential to make the switch.
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