SINGAPORE: An infrastructure rejuvenation programme will be carried out for junior colleges (JCs) in phases from 2022, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday (Mar 5).
Speaking during the Committee of Supply debate, he said that a few of the JCs that were merged this year are among the oldest government JCs, with campuses that have become “somewhat dated”.
“We have been progressively improving the building infrastructure of our ITE and polytechnics,” he said. “I think our JCs deserve new campuses too.”
In his speech, Mr Ong also explained how the ministry chose which JCs to start with for the rejuvenation programme. MOE took into consideration factors such as the age of the buildings, state of existing facilities and the availability of suitable holding sites.
In the first phase, three JCs – Anderson Serangoon, Jurong Pioneer and Temasek – will be rebuilt, while Yishun Innova JC will be upgraded. This is expected to be completed by 2025.
Anderson Serangoon JC will move temporarily to the former Serangoon JC site while its current campus in Ang Mo Kio is being rebuilt.
Mr Ong explained that it was decided that the merged JC will be located at the former Anderson JC site as it is next to Yio Chu Kang MRT station. “The same consideration is still valid in deciding the future permanent site of Anderson Serangoon JC,” he said.
Temasek JC, which has the oldest campus among the government JCs at 43 years old, will move to the former Tampines JC site while its current campus in Bedok is being rebuilt.
A new campus will be built for Jurong Pioneer JC at the site of the former Jurong JC. Mr Ong explained that the permanent site was chosen for the merged JC as it is near the Jurong Lake District, and will be served by the future Jurong Region MRT Line.
Yishun Innova JC, which is currently located at the former Yishun JC site, will move to upgraded premises at the former Innova JC site. Mr Ong said the permanent site was chosen because it will be served by the new Thomson-East Coast MRT Line.
The second and third phases of the rejuvenation programme will involve the upgrading of the fourth merged JC – Tampines Meridian, as well as Victoria JC and the older government-aided JCs.
“The new premises will support the evolution of JC education, where lessons are a lot more interactive, and learning more holistic,” he said. “So instead of just the classrooms we have today, we will have seminar rooms which are modular and flexible, to support more interactive pedagogies.”
He added that the campuses will be made “more digitally enabled” and also have facilities such as indoor sports halls that will be designed so they can be open for community use.
“The JCs will have campuses that are fit for the future.”
In his speech, Mr Ong also announced that streaming in secondary schools - which was implemented more than three decades ago - will be phased out by 2024.