22 secondary schools will merge to become just 11, as mature estates are producing fewer school-going children.
The Ministry of Education (MOE), which announced this at a briefing yesterday, said that this was the largest merger exercise in the last 5 years.
Next year, the 7 secondary schools that MOE had earlier said did not have a Secondary 1 cohort this year – Balestier Hill, Henderson, MacPherson, North View, Pioneer, Siglap and Si Ling – will be paired and merged with 7 other schools.
They are, respectively, Beatty, Bukit Merah, Broadrick, Northland, Boon Lay, Coral and Marsiling Secondary Schools.
In 2018, Bedok North will join Damai Secondary, and Bishan Park will pair with Peirce Secondary. Chong Boon will merge with Yio Chu Kang Secondary and Greenview will join Loyang Secondary.
MOE explained that its decision to merge schools was due to the declining cohort sizes. There were about 38,600 students who were posted to secondary schools this year, a decrease from about 50,000 a decade ago.
There are now 158 secondary schools here and this number is expected to decrease. MOE stated that a “sufficient critical mass” is needed for a school to offer a good range of educational programmes and co-curricular activities (CCAs) for its students.
Several of the schools merging have 3 or fewer classes at each level, compared to a “healthy” range of six to eight classes per level in most secondary schools. The school buildings that have been chosen to house the merged schools were decided based on their locations, transport options and the quality of their infrastructure.
The names of the new secondary schools have yet to be decided.
Principals will be appointed for the schools merging next year by the first half of this year. They need not be from one of the two merged schools.
Teachers will be consulted on whether they wish to stay at the merged school, or get posted to other schools.
News Source: The Straits Times