Response

To provide a quality education, support students’ holistic development, and provide them with a rich learning experience, there needs to be an adequate number of students for meaningful class organisation and interactions as well as the provision of a rich array of learning programmes, both curricular and co-curricular.

Given the significance of schools to students and alumni, and the emotional attachment between students, alumni and their schools, as far as possible we would not want to merge schools. However, in some mature estates, the population of school going children has declined, and enrolment in some schools are too low for them to offer a good range of educational programmes and co-curricular activities. The merger of schools will allow their students to benefit from the range of educational programmes that can cater to the all-round development of students. This is in fact one way that we provide better programmes to bring out the best in every child, and make every school a good school. Moreover, by deploying our teachers and other resources in an optimal manner, including to schools in new towns with higher population densities, we raise the quality of schools across the board.

Schools are identified for mergers based on several factors such as the size of enrolment, the nature of existing programmes, the suitability of merger partners and infrastructure capacity. These factors are considered qualitatively before a decision is taken. In some cases in the past, MOE had relocated schools when there was low demand for school places in a particular estate, or when it was not feasible to upgrade the existing school facilities due to land and building constraints.

MOE seeks to preserve the history and heritage of the schools which are merged by documenting the history of each school. In many schools, these are displayed at a heritage space in the merged school building. This serves to inform and educate the new student cohorts of the school’s history and legacy. For example, Queenstown Primary School which was set up before Singapore’s independence had previously merged with Birkhall Road School in 1984 and with Mei Chin Primary and Tanglin Primary in 2002. The school has a Heritage Corner to reflect its rich legacy by documenting the history of the other three schools.