Following the announcement earlier this year on the merging of schools in the face of the shrinking student population, discussions were focused on the rationale and the pairing of schools, but very little was said about the impact all these changes would have on the last batch of students in the schools (8 junior colleges among 28 schools to be merged; April 21).
For instance, one noticeable difference for everyone in the affected junior colleges will be the sudden halving of the student population and the drop in the buzz and activities as a result.
Due to the greatly reduced number of students, some co-curricular activities (CCAs) can be expected to be dropped as there may not be sufficient funds to engage external coaches. This could require students from these merged schools to travel to other schools if they wish to continue pursuing their CCAs.
Certain blocks in the school may also be shuttered, as activities will be greatly reduced. Some of the school canteen operators have also been observed to have closed their stalls. Such an environment will surely dent the morale of teachers, students and those serving the school.
What processes, programmes and modes of support have been put in place to ensure that this last batch of students does not become collateral damage in the light of the need for the schools to merge?
As many JC students, including my son, will start the school term soon, I hope the Ministry of Education will look into the welfare of these students.
Quah Chin Kau