Niche programmes and CCAs to be kept

Innova JC principal Michael Nelson de Silva will become principal of Yishun Innova Junior College next year, when the two junior colleges merge.
Innova JC principal Michael Nelson de Silva will become principal of Yishun Innova Junior College next year, when the two junior colleges merge.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Competitors in this year's Schools National A Division girls' basketball and girls' badminton tournaments could find themselves facing a combined team of Yishun Junior College and Innova Junior College students, even before the two schools merge next year.

This is an option for the merging JCs if they find they do not have enough students to field in sports competitions, said Innova JC principal Michael Nelson de Silva.

Yishun JC and Innova JC are one of four pairs of JCs merging next year because of falling cohort sizes.

The four JCs which are moving out of their premises will not be taking in first-year students this year, resulting in a smaller student body.

Mr de Silva, 57, who will become principal of Yishun Innova Junior College next year, said an option was to let students take more than one co-curricular activity, or CCA.

The Ministry of Education announced details of the new merged schools yesterday, including their names, locations and principals.

The four merged JCs will retain the niche CCAs and programmes of their component schools.

 

For example, Pioneer JC's partnership with Zhejiang University and the NUS Research Institute in Suzhou will be extended to the merged Jurong Pioneer JC.

Serangoon JC's niche CCAs, such as taekwondo and girls' touch football, will feature at the merged Anderson Serangoon JC.

Merged JCs will have heritage walls displaying the history of their two schools.

Staff are already getting to know their counterparts from the other schools, so that they can hit the ground running when school starts next year.

Principals told The Straits Times the human resource aspect was one of the most significant to address.

"We had to jointly agree who would be helming the different departments, and on the teacher composition. Only after having settled on staff strength, did the induction come," said Serangoon JC principal Manogaran Suppiah, 58, who will lead Anderson Serangoon JC.

Serangoon JC is celebrating its 30th anniversary on April 28, and Mr Manogaran said there would be a final College Day. "We want to close this chapter meaningfully."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2018, with the headline 'Niche programmes and CCAs to be kept'. Print Edition | Subscribe