VJC PLANS TO ADMIT SEC 1 STUDENTS
VICTORIA Junior College (VJC) has proposed a change to its current integrated programme which will see it admitting Secondary 1 students, a decision that has sparked ire among Victorian alumni.
VJC, which currently runs a four-year integrated programme admitting students at the Sec 3 level, submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education about two weeks ago indicating that it hopes to extend its programme to six years, and admit Sec 1 students to the school.
If approved, this proposal will put VJC in direct competition with Victoria School (VS), with which it is affiliated, say some of its alumni.
The move would be similar to what the National Junior College has implemented, as it too has started to admit Sec 1 students directly this year.
Other institutions that have implemented integrated, or through-train, programmes include the Raffles schools and Hwa Chong Institution.
Temasek Junior College is the only other junior college that offers a four-year programme similar to VJC’s.
Some alumni are concerned that if implemented, the programme will pose a threat to Victorian heritage and unity.
‘We are disappointed that they have gone ahead with the proposal,’ said Mr Quak Hiang Wai, spokesman for the Old Victorians’ Association, the alumni association for both VS and VJC.
‘This will split the Victorian family apart and lead to unnecessary competition, as there will essentially be two secondary schools.’
He noted that the committee of the alumni association is not opposed to the integrated programme, but is taking issue with VJC’s decision to ‘go its own way’.
‘In fact, we are all for a merger between VS and VJC…for an integrated programme, as long as the school’s heritage is preserved and VS remains a single-sex school,’ said Mr Quak.
VJC intends to enrol both male and female students in its six-year programme, if it is approved.
When asked about VJC’s decision to extend its four-year programme, vice-principal Audrey Chen said the school believes there are significant educational advantages in having an uninterrupted six-year programme.
She added: ‘Regardless of the outcome of the proposal, VJC will continue to maintain close ties with VS and work in partnership to keep the Victorian spirit strong.’
Both Ms Chen and VS principal Low Eng Teong declined to comment on the alumni’s concerns.
Source: The Straits Times