No Sec 1 students for 7 schools next year
SEVEN secondary schools will not have a Secondary 1 cohort next year.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday this was due to insufficient demand in the schools' areas, all of which are mature estates, to open classes. The ministry also highlighted the falling number of secondary school-going students every year.
The schools which will go without a Sec 1 cohort next year are Balestier Hill Secondary School, Henderson Secondary School, MacPherson Secondary School, North View Secondary School, Pioneer Secondary School, Si Ling Secondary School and Siglap Secondary School, one of oldest of the seven having opened in 1955.
These schools are located in mature housing estates such as Jurong West, Marsiling, Yishun and MacPherson.
This year, 39,286 Primary 6 pupils sat the Primary School Leaving Examination, a 7 per cent fall from the 42,336 last year.
MOE added in its statement yesterday that it may merge a number of these seven schools with low enrolments with other schools "as it may be challenging for them to offer a wide range of educational programmes and co-curricular activities". This is "to ensure a critical mass for the schools to provide a good educational experience for their students". The ministry said more details on the mergers will be provided early next year.
Last year, it was reported that eight secondary schools with low enrolment will be merged to form four schools next year due to a dwindling student population.
Tanglin Secondary School will combine with Clementi Woods Secondary School and be based at the former's site on West Coast Road.
First Toa Payoh Secondary School will merge with Bartley Secondary School and operate out of Bartley's campus; Ping Yi Secondary School in Chai Chee will absorb Bedok Town Secondary School; and Chestnut Drive Secondary School will merge with Fajar Secondary School.
In this year's Secondary One Posting Exercise, which ended on Tuesday, around 38,600 students were posted to secondary schools based on their merit and choice. Classes begin on Jan 4.