Upgrades and rebuilding of school campuses delayed by COVID-19

Upgrades and rebuilding of school campuses delayed by COVID-19

Jurong Pioneer Junior College 2
File photo of Jurong Pioneer Junior College, one of the schools under Phase 1 of the JC Rejuvenation Programme announced by MOE. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: Infrastructure projects for two secondary schools and four junior colleges will be deferred by one year due to a slowdown in the construction sector caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Wednesday (Jul 1).

The schools affected are: Woodlands Ring Secondary School, Yusof Ishak Secondary School, Anderson Serangoon Junior College, Jurong Pioneer Junior College, Temasek Junior College and Yishun Innova Junior College.

Measures to contain the spread of the pandemic have "affected the production and delivery of construction materials, design plans, availability of workers, as well as on-site construction works," said the ministry in a press release. 

Woodlands Ring Secondary School was scheduled to be upgraded from January 2021 to December 2022 and classes were to be held at the former North View Secondary School site in Yishun. 

However, sprucing works such as the conversion of facilities to suit the school's needs, repainting, replacement of faulty air conditioners and light fittings at the holding site were delayed. 

The school will only move to the holding site from January 2022 to December 2023.

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In 2018, MOE announced that Yusof Ishak Secondary School would be relocated to Punggol in Jaunary 2021 to meet the demand for school places in the area.

However, construction work for the new campus stopped due to COVID-19. The new site in Punggol will only be ready a year later and the school will relocate in January 2022, said the ministry.

In addition, Yusof Ishal Secondary School did not admit a new Secondary 1 cohort in 2019 and 2020 to its current campus in Bukit Batok, so as to minimise disruption to students' learning. 

The school had initially planned to admit new students for its Secondary 1 cohort at the new Punggol campus in 2021. But with relocation slated for January 2022, the school will have a new intake only in 2022.

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The delay will have no impact on current students and earlier arrangements for them to continue their studies in the existing campus in Bukit Batok will remain, said MOE.

DELAYED UPGRADES FOR FOUR JUNIOR COLLEGES 

MOE said the circuit breaker measures have affected preliminary construction works for four junior colleges under the JC Rejuvenation Programme.

The programme was announced during the 2019 Committee of Supply Debate, where older junior college campuses would be upgraded or rebuilt to support "more interactive models of teaching and learning".

Anderson Serangoon Junior College, Jurong Pioneer Junior College, Temasek Junior College, and Yishun Innova Junior College will be upgraded or rebuilt under Phase 1 of the programme.

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However, the projects will be deferred by a year because of the delays.

Work will start in 2023 and complete tentatively by end-2025, said MOE. 

Anderson Serangoon Junior College and Temasek Junior College would temporarily move to the former Serangoon Junior College and Tampines Junior College sites respectively while their existing schools undergo rebuilding.

Yishun Innova Junior College and Jurong Pioneer Junior College would remain at their present locations while the new campuses at the former Innova Junior College and Jurong Junior College sites are upgraded and rebuilt.

These two school will move to their new sites when completed.

"The two secondary schools and four junior colleges affected by the delays will make the necessary arrangements to ensure that all students continue to have a conducive learning environment," said MOE.

The ministry added that it will also continue to monitor the situation closely and assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ongoing construction works.

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Source: CNA/lk(ta)

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