66 schools, including newly merged JCs, to get new principals next year

The four JCs - Anderson Serangoon JC, Yishun Innova JC, Tampines Meridian JC, and Jurong Pioneer JC - welcomed their first merger batch of JC1 students this year. PHOTOS: ST FILE, LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Principals for the four newly merged junior colleges (JCs) will be appointed in December, as part of the Ministry of Education's (MOE) annual reshuffle exercise, said the ministry in a statement on Friday (Oct 19).

The four JCs are among 66 schools - from primary schools to junior colleges - that will have new principals next year.

Mr Manogaran Suppiah, 59, who is currently principal at Serangoon JC, will lead Anderson Serangoon JC; Dr Hang Kim Hoo, 59, who is currently leading Jurong JC, will be principal at Jurong Pioneer JC; Miss Pamela Yoong Nyok Ke, 49, who is principal at Tampines JC, will lead Tampines Meridian JC; and Mr Michael Nelson De Silva, 58, principal at Innova JC, will lead Yishun Innova JC.

Mr Manogaran said he is excited about the opportunity of leading a merged college.

"The colleges have done very well over the years, and it is the coming together of two very strong colleges with a long history," he said. "I am confident that we will provide an all-round education for our students because we have highly talented teachers."

He added that work already started a few months ago, on things such as the school uniform, crest and the anthem.

Mr Manogaran Suppiah, who is currently principal at Serangoon JC, will lead Anderson Serangoon JC. PHOTO: ST FILE

The four JCs welcomed their first merger batch of JC1 students this year.

Current Anderson JC principal Tay Lai Ling will be seconded to the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, and current Pioneer JC principal Tan-Kek Lee Yong will be retiring. Meridian JC principal Lim Yan Hock and Yishun JC principal Edelweis Yzelman will be posted to MOE headquarters.

Some other schools that will have new leaders at the helm include Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), School of the Arts (Sota), Nan Chiau High School and Anglo-Chinese School (Primary).

Mrs Mary Seah will take over Madam Lim Geok Cheng as Sota principal from Dec 15, said the school in a statement on Friday. Madam Lim, who joined Sota in 2012, will be posted to MOE as a senior quality assessor. Mrs Seah is currently principal at Tanjong Katong Girls' School.

Ten of the schools involved in the exercise will have first-time principals.

The MOE said the rotation allows schools to benefit from new perspectives and enables experienced principals to share best practices across schools.

"For the 10 newly appointed principals, this is an important career milestone, as they assume bigger responsibilities as leaders in education," said the MOE in the statement.

The mergers of the eight junior colleges into four were announced by the MOE in April last year due to Singapore's falling birth rate. The ministry said in January this year that the merged JCs will bear the original names of both colleges, with the older college coming first.

There will also be nine principals retiring this year, said MOE.

One of them is Mrs Jasmail Singh Gill, 62, who has been principal for 21 years. She has been at Unity Primary School for nine years, and was at Chongzheng Primary School and Yung An Primary School before that.

Unity Primary School principal Jasmail Singh Gill with pupils from the school. PHOTO: UNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL

She said she has mixed feelings about her retirement.

"I still enjoy what I do and have always found meaning and purpose in the job. I will miss my students and staff the most," said Mrs Gill, who is also looking forward to spending more time with her family.

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