Two new primary schools will open in Punggol in 2020 and Yusof Ishak Secondary School will move to the rapidly growing HDB town in 2021 to meet the demand for school places in the housing estate.
Punggol has undergone rapid development in recent years and many young families have moved into the estate.
The Education Ministry said in a press statement on Thursday that Valour Primary School and Northshore Primary School will admit their first Primary 1 cohorts in 2020.
Yusof Ishak Secondary School, currently located in a part of Bukit Batok where demand for school places is falling, will not be admitting new Secondary 1 cohorts in 2019 and 2020 to minimise disruptions to students’ learning when the school moves to Punggol in 2021.
Dual operations across two campuses will be limited to one year in 2021, when the school will house its last batch of Secondary 4 students at the Bukit Batok campus and its first batch of Secondary 1 students at the Punggol campus.
The ministry said it will facilitate the transfer of the small number of Secondary 5 Normal (Academic) students in 2022 – admitted this year – to other secondary schools in the Bukit Batok area.
The school was established in 1965 as Jubilee Integrated Secondary School and was renamed Yusof Ishak Secondary School in 1966, after the first President of Singapore, the late Mr Yusof Ishak.
The school will continue to host the Centre for Teaching and Learning Excellence, a programme set up in September 2015 as a partnership between the school, the Academy of Singapore Teachers and the National Institute of Education to expose teachers to innovative ways of teaching in a real classroom setting.
The new Punggol site will also provide better facilities for the programme, including an interactive learning centre with video streaming capabilities and a learning laboratory with an attached observation room.
MOE said that its “key consideration” in deciding on the relocation or opening of schools is being responsive to the “changing demographics and community needs” while providing “an optimal student experience at all times”.
The ministry said relocating Yusof Ishak Secondary School to Punggol will preserve the history and rich culture of the school.
Lianhe Zaobao first broke the news, based on government tender documents. They showed that the ministry had requested for a quotation on Oct 6 for a “proposed new secondary school” to be built at the junction of Punggol Central and Punggol Way.
The document also said the proposed development, with an estimated gross floor area of 28,335 sq metres, consists of two blocks of seven-storey classrooms, one block of three-storey canteen and a multi-purpose hall, with construction work expected to be completed by “fourth quarter 2020”.
The new schools will bring the total number of primary schools in Punggol to 11, and the number of secondary schools in the area to four.
Besides in Punggol, the ministry is also building a new primary school in Tampines North.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photo: Facebook/Yusof Ishak Secondary School)
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