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Nine pairs of schools to merge from 2022 amid falling birth rates, changing demographics

SINGAPORE — Four pairs of primary schools and five pairs of secondary schools will be merged starting from next year, as Singapore continues to see declining birth rates and changing demographics in housing estates.

A composite photo of Bedok Green Secondary School and Ping Yi Secondary School. Four pairs of primary schools and five pairs of secondary schools will merge from 2022 to 2024.

A composite photo of Bedok Green Secondary School and Ping Yi Secondary School. Four pairs of primary schools and five pairs of secondary schools will merge from 2022 to 2024.

  • Four pairs of primary schools and five pairs of secondary schools will merge from 2022 to 2024
  • The first primary school for Tengah New Town will come from the merger of Juying Primary and Pioneer Primary
  • The Ministry of Education said that the exercise was necessary due to declining birth rates and changing demographics in neighbourhoods
  • Three schools involved in the latest exercise had already been merged with other schools in 2016

 

SINGAPORE — Four pairs of primary schools and five pairs of secondary schools will be merged starting from next year, as Singapore continues to see declining birth rates and changing demographics in housing estates. 

Of these, the new school formed from the combination of Juying Primary and Pioneer Primary in Jurong West will eventually relocate to Tengah New Town, tentatively in January 2025, making it the first primary school in the new estate. 

It will help to meet the demand for primary school places from young families moving into Tengah, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Wednesday (April 7).

The two schools will also be merged next year, ahead of other schools, so that the site of Pioneer Primary can be handed over to the Land Transport Authority to begin construction works for the upcoming Jurong Region Line.

MOE added that the majority of schools in this merging exercise will do so in 2023.  

Those that will merge in 2023 and relocate to the site of the latter school are: 

  • Eunos Primary and Telok Kurau Primary

  • Stamford Primary and Farrer Park Primary 

  • Guangyang Primary and Townsville Primary

  • Ping Yi Secondary and Bedok Green Secondary

  • Chua Chu Kang Secondary and Teck Whye Secondary

  • Greenridge Secondary and Fajar Secondary

  • Tanglin Secondary and New Town Secondary

Fuchun Secondary and Woodlands Ring Secondary will be the last pairing to merge. The move will happen in 2024 with the new school housed at the site of Woodlands Ring Secondary.

Graphic: Samuel Woo/TODAY

FALLING BIRTH RATES

MOE said in a press release that declining birth rates and changing demographics in housing estates led to falling enrolment in several schools but a rise in demand for school places in other areas.

“To respond to these developments, MOE regularly reviews the need for school mergers or to build new schools in new housing estates.

“Such reviews are done to ensure that students across Singapore continue to enjoy a vibrant educational experience with a good range of educational programmes and co-curricular activities,” it said.

Cohort sizes have continued to fall given the overall decline in the number of resident births over the past few decades.

In the 1990s, the resident live births averaged about 46,000. In the last few years, this figure has fallen to 35,000.

Since 2010, MOE has merged 34 pairs of schools with the last major exercise occurring in 2019 when a total of 14 schools were merged.

Three of the schools involved in the newly announced merger exercise had also combined with other schools in 2016.

At that time, Fajar Secondary School in Bukit Panjang merged with Chestnut Drive Secondary School, Tanglin Secondary School on West Coast Road merged with Clementi Woods Secondary School, and Ping Yi Secondary School along Chai Chee Street merged with Bedok Town Secondary School.

MOE said that the latest schools were identified based on their enrolment trends, the geographical proximity of the schools to be merged, the suitability of merger partners and the receiving schools’ infrastructure capacities.

The choice of sites for the merged schools were also picked based on whether they were in areas with demand for school places, how well the school would serve the needs of the community as well as transport infrastructure and the quality of the school’s infrastructure.

The principals and the names of the new schools will be announced in the year leading up to the merger.

For Juying Primary and Pioneer Primary, which will merge next year, the principal and the school’s name will be announced in the coming months.

The new names of merged schools will be based on the history and heritage of both schools, the enrolment size of both schools and the sentiments of stakeholders, MOE said.

There will be no retrenchments as a result of the latest exercise with most members of staff posted to merged schools, deployed to other schools or placed in other areas of the education system, it added.

Related topics

primary school secondary school demographics education merger

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