No staff will lose jobs in mergers: MOE

No staff will lose jobs in mergers: MOE
A class in session at Serangoon Junior College (JC) yesterday. It will merge with Anderson JC, with the merged school located at the latter’s site. The overall exercise involves eight junior colleges, six secondary schools and 14 primary schools. Photo: Esther Leong
Published: 4:00 AM, April 21, 2017
Updated: 8:47 AM, April 21, 2017

SINGAPORE — All employees of the schools involved in the massive merging exercise will either join the reconstituted schools or be deployed elsewhere, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday as it stressed that no employees — be it teachers or administrative staff — would lose their jobs.

Speaking to reporters yesterday following the announcement of the exercise — which involves eight junior colleges, six secondary schools and 14 primary schools — MOE Deputy Director-General of Education (Schools) and Director of Schools Liew Wei Li reiterated the importance of ensuring the well-being of the affected staff as they are critical to the schools’ morale.

“No staff will be out of a job because of this,” said Ms Liew.

“What would happen is that — because we need them to ensure stability — we will have an excess of staff in all the JCs (junior colleges) or all of the (merged) schools, so that they can help bring the merged programmes over in a sensible way that does not affect the quality.”

The latest exercise will see JCs merged for the first time. And some educators in these schools could be redeployed to other JCs, secondary schools, primary schools or the MOE headquarters.

Teachers moving across the different levels will undergo bridging courses before their new postings to equip them with the pedagogical skills and content knowledge, said the MOE.

The ministry added that it will identify suitable jobs for those who may need help finding new postings.

After their redeployment, teachers will continue to be supported through regular networking sessions.

Innova JC principal Michael de Silva said he will be speaking to his teachers individually to find out their preferences, which will be taken into account as he works with the MOE on their deployment post-merger.

“It is not so simple to say, we’ll take the best teachers (for the merged school) or anything like that … we will look at the respective strengths (of the teachers) and we will make decisions around that ... but (the) teachers have a choice,” said Mr De Silva, whose school will be merged with Yishun JC.

Some teachers whom TODAY spoke to said they were concerned about the uncertainty over where they could end up working, while others shrugged it off.

A 27-year-old male teacher from one of the affected JCs noted that, already, there appeared to be “an excess of teachers in many schools”.

But another JC teacher said she was not too worried.

Adding that she and her colleagues have been told that there will be discussions held with their superiors over the next few months, the teacher, who is in her 20s, said she was open to teaching in a primary or secondary school, as working in JCs “can be quite taxing” and teaching in the lower levels “might provide new opportunities for learning”. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KENNETH CHENG