Are newly-vacant school buildings being put to use?

The major restructuring of Singapore's education is laudable (8 junior colleges among 28 schools to be merged; April 21), but this leaves a significant number of unused buildings.

These Institute of Technical Education (ITE) buildings, junior colleges and other school facilities are now vacant, or soon will be.

Most are still in good condition and some have even been recently refurbished.

I wonder if there is a government agency which keeps track and has a big picture of these resources that are available.

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In pushing for reorganisation, have the Education Ministry, ITE and other related organisations worked out their asset deployment plans?

Have these then been viewed and managed on an integrated national basis?

I was drawn to this topic after reading about a drive to raise $200 million for the relocation of a well-known school.

There might be other similar initiatives, and I wonder if the pool of orphaned buildings might not offer a speedier and more cost-effective solution.

Let us not waste resources, and moderate the tendency to tear down and rebuild.

The surplus school buildings are generally in very good condition.

Some are actually very impressive. With relatively modest conversions, they will do any reputable school proud.

There should be no need to start from scratch.

Albert Tan Khin Nguan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2017, with the headline 'Are newly-vacant school buildings being put to use?'. Print Edition | Subscribe