No Secondary 1 cohort at seven schools

Siglap Secondary is one of seven secondary schools without a Sec 1 cohort next year.
Siglap Secondary is one of seven secondary schools without a Sec 1 cohort next year.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Seven secondary schools will not have a Secondary 1 cohort next year.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday that this was due to insufficient demand in the schools' areas, all of which are mature estates, to open classes.

The ministry also highlighted the fact that the number of secondary school-going students is falling every year.

The schools that will go without a Sec 1 cohort next year are Balestier Hill Secondary, Henderson Secondary, MacPherson Secondary, North View Secondary, Pioneer Secondary, Si Ling Secondary and Siglap Secondary.

These schools are located in mature housing estates such as Jurong West, Marsiling, Yishun and MacPherson.

This year, 39,286 Primary 6 pupils sat the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), a 7 per cent fall from the 42,336 last year.

MOE added in its statement yesterday that it may merge a number of these seven schools with low enrolments with other schools "as it may be challenging for them to offer a wide range of educational programmes and co-curricular activities".

This is "to ensure a critical mass for the schools to provide a good educational experience for their students".

MOE said more details on the mergers will be provided early next year.

Last year, it was reported that eight secondary schools with low enrolment would be merged to form four schools in 2016, due to a dwindling student population.

Tanglin Secondary will combine with Clementi Woods Secondary, and be based at the former's site along West Coast Road.

First Toa Payoh Secondary will merge with Bartley Secondary and operate out of Bartley's campus; Ping Yi Secondary in Chai Chee will absorb Bedok Town Secondary; and Chestnut Drive Secondary will merge with Fajar Secondary.

In this year's Secondary 1 Posting Exercise, which finished on Tuesday, around 38,600 students were posted to secondary schools based on their merit and choice.

Classes begin on Jan 4.

Amelia Teng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2015, with the headline 'No Secondary 1 cohort at seven schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe