New names, old history for 20 merging primary and secondary schools

White Sands Primary School will merge with Coral Primary School in 2019.
White Sands Primary School will merge with Coral Primary School in 2019. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Shuqun Secondary School, founded as Tuan Cheng Public School in 1925 which  survived historical milestones such as the Japanese Occupation, will soon lose its name. 

It will take the name of  Yuhua Secondary School when both schools merge in 2019. 

They are among the three pairs of secondary schools and seven pairs of primary schools to be merged that have had their names settled.

Each of the merged schools will bear the name of the school where it will be located.

The names were announced by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Friday (Dec 29). 

While activities will be conducted to integrate the students from different schools, some alumni lamented the loss of memories attached to the names. 

Ex-Yuhua Secondary student Roger Erh, 26, said that dropping the names of some schools might not be fair to the students who lose  their school names. 

“Time in secondary school is where awkward teens like me tried to find our way in the world... I guess that is the power that the name Yuhua entails and this is ....something (that is) lost for the Shuqun alumni,” said Mr Erh, whose 23-year-old sister Reena is a former student of Shuqun Secondary School. 

“To me, regardless of the traditions of the school, it is these bittersweet memories that will stay with us throughout our lives,” said Mr Erh, a management trainee at a facility services firm.

In a statement, MOE said: “In naming (the) merged schools, 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.” 

It said that the merged school will “encompass the identities, strengths and cherished distinctiveness of both merging schools”.

Their history will be formally documented and preserved at a heritage space in the merged school’s building, it added.

For instance, heritage corners will be set up for students when Cedar Primary and MacPherson Primary Schools merge at the Cedar site. 

The student leadership teams from both schools have also started planning  joint activities for next year. 

In April this year, MOE announced that 28 schools will be merged. Besides the seven pairs of primary schools and three pairs of secondary schools, the move also affects four pairs of junior colleges. 

The names of the merged junior colleges will be announced in the early part of 2018, said  MOE. 

The list of the merged schools are as follows:

Primary schools:

Balestier Hill Primary and Bendemeer Primary: to be named Bendemeer Primary School

Casuarina Primary and Loyang Primary: Casuarina Primary School

Cedar Primary and MacPherson Primary: Cedar Primary School

Coral Primary and White Sands Primary: White Sands Primary School

Damai Primary and East Coast Primary: Damai Primary School

Da Qiao Primary and Jing Shan Primary: Jing Shan Primary School

East View Primary and Junyuan Primary: Junyuan Primary School

Secondary schools:

East View Secondary and East Spring Secondary: East Spring Secondary School

Hong Kah Secondary and Jurongville Secondary: Jurongville Secondary School

Shuqun Secondary and Yuhua Secondary: Yuhua Secondary School