Four junior colleges will halt intake of students in 2018, a year ahead of mergers

Students at SRJC found out about the news around noon on Thursday (Apr 20).
Students at SRJC found out about the news around noon on Thursday (Apr 20).ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - When this year's O-level students apply for a junior college after receiving their results, there will be four schools that will not appear on their option forms: Jurong Junior College (JJC), Innova Junior College (IJC), Serangoon Junior College (SRJC) and Tampines Junior College (TPJC).

The JCs will halt their intakes of students a year ahead of their mergers in 2019, which will remove the need for students to physically relocate to another site when the time is due for the schools to move out of their buildings, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) at a press briefing on Thursday (April 20).

This means that JC2 students will be the only ones occupying the school premises in 2018.

Students at SRJC found out about the news around noon on Thursday (Apr 20). A JC1 student, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times that most students were "quite disheartened" at the news of merger.

"We will have the whole school to ourselves next year, and won't be sharing it with the JC1s," said the 17-year-old, who lamented how he may miss out on the chance of becoming an orientation group leader to his juniors.

Though SRJC had not been his first-choice JC, he had grown to love the school over the course of a few months, he said.

"The seniors and student councillors really worked hard to showcase how SRJC is an up-and-coming JC, and our (academic) standards have improved a lot over the years."

Speaking to reporters after the press briefing, MOE's director of schools Liew Wei Li said that the ministry recognises that alumni and students "feel a lot" for their schools. This merger exercise was particularly challenging because it involved JCs.

"It's a two-year programme and school spirit is so high, we have to be very sensitive...(and) very careful about such things."

She gave assurance that all special programmes that were previously in the merging JCs will remain in the merged schools, and principals have also been exploring ways in which students from the schools with no JC1 intake next year will still be able to organise orientation for students in partner schools. "In a sense, they are sharing the JC1s," she said.

SRJC's alumni association said in a statement on Thursday that it will be holding a dialogue session for members and alumni on 13 May.

"With close to 30 years of SRJC Alumni, there will be a high level of interest to understand the rationale, implementation and impact of such a merger," said the association.