There has been plenty of discussion on the recent announcement of the JC merger. If you don’t know by now, 8 JCs will be merged by the year 2019. According to Straits Times, it was reported that the main reason is due to the falling enrollment of JC students. Cohort sizes will maintain its “optimal teacher-student ratio” and MOE promises that there won’t be a retrenchment in staff.
This is strange however and netizens have raised the same question: Why build a new Junior College (Eunoia JC) then?
Disclaimer: This is not a news article. It is merely a speculation and may or may not be one of the reasons for the decision of the merger. This article is kept to be as unbiased as possible. Let us know what you feel too about the merger.
Reputation of Schools
As much as we would hate to say this (We are alumni too), it is common knowledge that these 8 schools aren’t ranked in the top Junior Colleges. You can find tons of lists on the web about the rankings.
In this elitist society we live in, track records seem to matter a lot. This is true for schools in Singapore too even though we claimed that every school is a good school. It is depressing to see these JCs go, losing years of heritage and culture. However, ask yourself truthfully, would you want your children to aim for mid-tier schools or top renowned schools that are recognised even in other countries? The answer is obvious – Parents would always want their sons and daughters to be in the best kindergartens, primary and secondary schools etc. Sometimes it is better to take a look at ourselves and realise that we may be part of the problem.
Unless we are willing to change our competitive mindset, merging these schools and building new JCs in place of them is probably a strategic move. For one simple reason: Changing the perceptions of current JCs is a lot harder than building a new school from scratch.
Eunoia JC is catered to Integrated Programme (IP) students from prestigious schools namely Catholic High School, Singapore Chinese Girls School and CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls’ School. By doing this, the brand new JC will begin with a fresh supply of “elites”.
With this, Eunoia would be able to produce good results consistently and might even be able to take on the top Junior Colleges. Doing this is definitely a lot easier than trying to improve the current standings of mid-tier JCs.
Nevertheless, the quality of the JC will still need to depend on a range of factors such as facilities, teachers, systems etc. Raffles Institution (Junior College) and Hwa Chong Institution might still remain at the top but it is definitely worth a shot.
We cannot deny the fact that the falling birth rates and the ageing population are the main causes of this merger. The low birth rates have become so severe that tertiary educational institutes have been affected as well. Even if no teachers are retrenched, the demand for them may fall drastically.
To end off, no one will know for sure the effects of this merger. It will definitely be interesting to see the merging of JCs for the first few years, to witness how different cultures clash. Let us know what you feel about it too in the comments section below! Follow us on Facebook!