Why can't merged primary schools bear both names?

I am curious as to why the decision for merged junior colleges to bear the original names of both schools was not extended to the merged primary and secondary schools (Merged JCs to bear original names of both schools: MOE; Jan 12).

My husband and I decided on Loyang Primary School for our eldest son three years ago, after visiting three primary schools near our home.

With a smaller student population, the school had a close-knit community and a very strong parent support group. We felt assured that this was the right school for our son.

When it was first announced in April last year that Loyang Primary School would move to Casuarina Primary School's premises, there were concerns about the loss of the Loyang identity and spirit.

However, given Loyang's history of being the first primary school in Pasir Ris, we were hopeful that the merger would allow a new identity to be formed, taking into consideration the strengths of both schools.

So, we were surprised when the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that each of the merged schools would bear the name of the school where it will be located (Merged schools' names announced; Dec 30, 2017), and Loyang would take on the name of Casuarina Primary School.

According to the MOE, "a range of factors were considered, including the schools' history and heritage, enrolments, as well as stakeholders' interests and the sentiments of all schools involved" in naming the merged schools.

Other than the fact that Loyang had a lower enrolment than Casuarina, how were the other factors taken into account in the naming decision?

As a student typically spends six years in a primary school, four to five years in a secondary school and two years in a JC, it baffles me that MOE would take a consultative approach with the JCs but not with the merged primary and secondary schools in deciding the names.

Surely, Loyang Primary School should at least retain its name to preserve a part of its history and heritage, as well as give due consideration to the sentiments of all the staff, past and present pupils and parents who have invested deeply in building the Loyang community.

Lim Shaw Hui (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2018, with the headline 'Why can't merged primary schools bear both names?'. Print Edition | Subscribe