Run cluster CCAs to offer students more options

With falling school enrolments and the merging of schools, it is understandable that students and parents are concerned that they will not be able to choose a preferred co-curricular activity (CCA), as small schools do not have the manpower nor resources to offer a wide range of CCAs ("22 secondary schools in big pair-up"; March 5).

The Ministry of Education (MOE) may have to revamp the running of CCAs in schools.

Currently, schools are grouped into zones and clusters under a cluster superintendent. Perhaps MOE could run cluster CCAs for schools with a small enrolment, under the direct supervision of a cluster superintendent.

A school with proven strength in a particular CCA in the cluster can enrol Secondary 1 students into the CCA and run the CCA in its school.

For CCAs that require wider enrolment, such as uniformed groups and games such as softball and cricket, the MOE can enlist the help of the respective uniformed groups' headquarters and games controlling bodies to run cluster or even zonal CCAs.

In this computer age, schools need not worry about the records, points and administration of the CCAs.

For national inter-school competitions, students can choose to represent their respective schools for individual sports such as badminton, table tennis or swimming, or clusters for team sports, such as basketball, netball or football.

Administration for competitions can be managed by the cluster.

Having students go to another venue for lessons and training sessions is not new to schools.

Currently, students who are studying a second or third language, or other MOE-recognised subjects not offered by their schools, go to centralised centres.

With forward thinking and planning, this can be a win-win situation for all.

Ronnie Lim Ah Bee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Run cluster CCAs to offer students more options'. Print Edition | Subscribe