SINGAPORE: The new Junior College (JC) which will offer an Integrated Programme (IP) for secondary students from 2017 will be named Eunoia Junior College, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Tuesday (Dec 29).
Eunoia JC will be located at a temporary site in Mount Sinai when it opens, until its campus in Sin Ming is ready in late 2019. The bulk of its students will be those taking the IP at Catholic High School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School and Singapore Chinese Girls' School. Under this programme, secondary students can sit for their GCE A-Level Examinations without taking the GCE O-Level Examinations.
Some parents had expressed concerns that the Mount Sinai campus would be too far from their homes. The school's principal, Mdm Cheang Mei Heng, said: "We have decided that our start time at our Mount Sinai campus is going to be at 8am. We are working to look at students who may have problems with transport to see if we can address some of their concerns."
Mount Sinai Road, the designated holding site for an upcoming junior college (Image: Stamen Maps)
Acting Minister for Education (Schools), Ng Chee Meng, made the announcement on Tuesday in an MOE ceremony at Shangri-La Hotel to appoint and appreciate the country's principals.
According to MOE, Eunoia refers to "beautiful thinking" and "goodwill towards others", "alluding to the convergence of the heart and mind, which is one of the key tenets of the JC's vision: Thinkers with Heart".
MOE said the choice of name demonstrates the JC's commitment not only to nurture students with outstanding academic abilities but its belief in the importance of building character and wisdom in tandem with intellectual pursuits.
The choice of name for the school was met with mirth online. Some social media users joked that people would have difficulty telling taxi drivers their destination, given that the name sounded like "You know, yeah?" The Education Ministry acknowledge the chatter over the name in a Facebook post, stating that it is pronounced "Yoo-noh-iea" instead.
Mr Ng said he is confident that the college will work hard at nurturing students to possess innovative thinking and a passionate heart for Singapore.
Mr Ng also highlighted the role principals play to achieve this. "Your work is increasingly complex, with the full weight of responsibility as the many young lives, and the expectations of parents are upon you."
A total of 63 principals, who were selected by MOE in October 2015, received their letters of appointment at the ceremony. They included Mdm Cheang, who was previously principal of Compassvale Secondary School and Serangoon Junior College.