Since news broke of the mergers of Anderson JC and Serangoon JC; Meridian JC and Tampines JC; Yishun JC and Innova JC; and Pioneer JC and Jurong JC yesterday, social media has been abuzz with mixed reactions.
While the 2019 merger is important to deal with issues of falling enrolment, to many students and ex-students, it also means losing a part of who they are.
We asked some of the ex-students of the affected JCs to share their thoughts on the merger and pay their tributes to their alma maters. This is what they had to say.
1. “When I entered SRJC, we were the last choice. A JC nobody wanted to be identified with. Look how far we’ve come as a JC, largely because of one man’s faith and plans – Principal Tan Teck Hock, who came and made sweeping changes, initiating events such as the Will Run, Teachers’ concert as well as Mr Tan’s immense work in not only improving grades across the board but also teaching valuable life lessons, instilling self-belief in many students, and creating a bonded, healthy culture in SRJC.
Thank you to all the teachers who were genuinely concerned about students and who worked really long hours in order to help students with their grades, character and performance. We’ll miss the good ol’ days and the canteen!
On the merger, I hope they will keep the Will Run event at least.”
– Andy, Class of 2008.
2. “I feel that it’s a pity, but it can’t be helped. I think the statement that the merged JC will have an equal share of staff is irrelevant. Many of our memories are tied to the location of the campus. I’ll visit SRJC before it moves, but that’s about it. I probably won’t donate or be able to call SRJC my alma mater anymore.
Thanks for the caring teachers who never gave up on me. Without them, I wouldn’t have gotten into uni. I hope SRJC will exist again in the future”
– Barry Choo, Class of 2010.
3. “WHY NEED TO MERGE. Walau!
SRJC was really special to me. It was where I had the fondest memories. I made such great friends there, both students and teachers, ran my first 13km because of Will Run, had the opportunity to perform in the 25th Anniversary musical, became a more cultured lady because of literature night. Laughed so much during Thanksgiving, went to Li Jiang, picked up rock climbing… there is so much more I love about SR. To think that SR will be no more is SUPER SAD.”
– Anonymous, Class of 2015.
4. “Holistically, it’s benefiting for TPJC to be merged with MJC. The former trails behind the latter in most aspects, hence it benefits from being absorbed into an institution with a renowned academic and co-curricular system.
Despite its shortcomings, TPJC has been an integral aspect of my personal development. Life goes on, aim and achieve.”
– Anonymous, Class of 2011.
5. “I’m ambivalent. It’s sad to see that a part of our memories with the college will be gone, given that the merger would result in the new JC taking the current site of MJC. However, I’m heartened to know that the merger would mean the ability to offer a good range of subject combinations and CCAs for future students.”
– Shanen, Class of 2010.
6. “I just think that it basically overrides all the years of culture and memories that have been built there. Demolishing it is one thing, but to merge with another school? It’s just like a slap in the face.
I’ve long graduated from the school, and many of those I interacted with then are now already in other places, but I believe that we all have a special place for TPJC in our hearts. The school might be physically demolished eventually, the name might be gone, but the memories will never fade.”
– Mel, Class of 2008.
7. “I’m quite reluctant for IJC to merge with YJC because IJ had a very unique culture where all 4 houses, though competitive, were very close! I don’t know how the culture will change with the introduction of YJC. Our uniform and school facilities are also nicer.
I really enjoyed my time at IJC and I hope that things don’t change too much!”
– Deborah, Class of 2013.
8. “The merging of our JC shocks many Innovians, partially because our school is relatively ‘new’. Many of us remember the journey of trying to establish an ‘Innovian identity’ together and trying to explain to others where ‘Innova JC’ is to many of our friends and family. All Innovians definitely have great memories of Innova, and we definitely hope that Innova won’t be forgotten.
Innovian pride and memories, forever and always.”
– Valerie, Class of 2009.
9. “It takes away the unique culture of every JC. There will be so many changes people need to adapt to with the JC merger, and it will dishearten many. Change can be good, but personally, it’s just the way the change was done that did not sit well with me – a change that was made without consulting with the people in the JC community, like it was just said and done like that, without any prior notice. Those in the JCs are just expected to follow it.
Thanks for the experience you’ve given me, IJC. I was really blessed to have had the teachers I got. Thank you for your endless efforts to arrange slots for extra classes, consultations and just giving that extra help. Honestly, A-Levels is not just an exam that tests one’s knowledge and capability in the academics. For me, it was also a test of my physical, emotional and mental aptitude and resilience.
Thank you Mr DeSilva for always guiding us with your leadership advice! Honourable mentions to Ms Marian Thng, Ms Wani, Mdm Chitra, and Ms Krystle Lau.”
– Annabelle, Class of 2017
10. “As alumni, I’m not in favour of the idea, because the merger will affect the school’s original culture and a change in the school’s building means the loss of many memories I have there.
JJC provided me a platform for self-improvement through my CCA touch rugby, as well as a great faculty to help me achieve the best A-Level grades I could possibly wish for. To current students, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy your stay there, even if great changes are about to happen.”
– X.Tan, Class of 2012.
11. “I feel sad that our school will merge because of low intake. But I hope our future juniors will still enjoy their time in this newly merged school. I’ll forever remember the Funan hard times because I learnt a lot there, both in academics and in character.
JJ JJ is the best!”
– Ye Min Sunn, Class of 2010.
12. “It’s sad that I won’t be able to visit Jurong JC campus anymore and that my teachers will be reshuffled. Thanks JJ for the two years, you made my life complete.”
– Anonymous, Class of 2016.
13. “It definitely feels weird, as it would likely be a mix of different cultures. But if this move is really needed to better the JC experience, then Non Mihi Solum (not for myself alone – the AJC motto). I hope AJC can continue to achieve as a merged entity, and strive for greater heights.”
– BW, Class of 2009.
14. “I will definitely miss the days I’ve spent there. I guess since AJ is rather prestigious, its prestige will be diluted if merged with another JC.”
– Min, Class of 2013.
15. “I feel a little sad, but coming from an educator’s point of view, it is the logical thing to do. Many secondary schools have merged recently and it was only a matter of time before it happened to the JCs.
It was a great time being in MJC, and while MJC and TPJC may merge in 2019, fond memories of being in Meridian will not be tainted!”
– Anonymous, Class of 2010.
16. “I’m quite taken aback. I had two wonderful, fulfilling years with Meridian and it’s sad to hear that they’ll be merging with another school. It would be difficult for the teachers who want to stay in Meridian but end up getting redeployed. With this merger, there will also likely be a change of school name, and the identity and culture of the school might get diluted, which is an unsettling thought. It’s not enough to have a dedicated heritage site, because physical objects can only do so much. It’s the everyday life and spirit that makes the difference.
I will always be proud to be a Meridian.”
– Angela, Class of 2007.
17. “I’m slightly upset. I feel that the culture of the JC might be gone. YJ felt like a second home to me. YJ itself had a rich history and to merge with another JC means a change in that. And it’ll never be the same again.
– Anonymous, Class of 2012.
18. “I don’t like it. The merger would change the culture YJ has built in the past 29/30 years. YJ will do well without Penguin”
– Germaine, Class of 2012.
19. “I have mixed feelings about it as it feels as if my JC will not be around anymore even though I know this isn’t the case. But it also means a new beginning for the school, so I look forward to seeing what the future holds for it.
I had a good time during my time there, thank you for the memories!”
– Anonymous, Class of 2014.
20. “This is too out of the blue. Hopefully, they will still be able to retain part of our school’s name in the new name for the merged school. Hopefully the teachers from both schools will adapt well in the new school.”
– Anonymous, Class of 2014.
“A little bit sad because there’s no more alma mater and there’s no place you can ‘return to’ in future.
Nonetheless, thank you for the beautiful memories!”
– Ika, Class of 2008.
Are you from one of the 8 merging JCs? Let us know your thoughts or pay your tributes in the comments below!