HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 4)

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Hello everyone!

After a two-year hiatus from the series of posts on decommisioned schools, I am thrilled to announce my return with part IV featuring schools that were not mentioned in the first three instalments, as well as those impending closure (yes, it’s still happening). Thank you everyone for the overwhelming support once again, especially those who have contributed to this list.

Be sure to check out PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3 if you haven’t!

This post features more schools in Eastern Singapore, most of which are Chinese schools formed by villagers or Chinese clan associations which did not survive past 1981 due to population shift and growing preference towards English-stream schools. Some schools, though already closed, were “revived” when newly-erected schools adopt their Chinese names. Those that are still in existent pulled through because they were pragmatic enough to shift to a satellite town.

* * *

West Hill School (Sembawang)

Closed in early 1985

The primary school was founded in 1957 at the now-defunct Bah Tan Road. As it was built in the 1950s, it did not have modern facilities of the newer schools, thus making it more susceptible to damage. On 4 January 1985, a freak storm which had initially caused tiles and classroom lamps to fall subsequently tore off the school roof during school hours, forcing their students to share classrooms with nearby Canberra School. Thankfully no one was hurt because of the quick thinking of the school’s senior assistant who evacuated everyone occupying the third-floor classrooms to the ground floor before it happened. When the building was rendered unsafe and beyond repair, the then-Education Ministry decided to close the school and transfer their students to neighbouring schools such as Canberra School and Jiemin School in Yishun.

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circa 1962

1962

circa 1981

1981

circa 1985

P5, 1985

After the school’s closure, Naval Base Secondary School occupied the land until the construction of Sembawang MRT Station came into the picture.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Nee Soon School (Sembawang)

Closed after 1986 (exact year unknown)

Established in 1954 along Nee Soon Lane in 1954 next to an army training camp (which I suppose would be in a high security and remote zone) and about 6 km away from Nee Soon Police Station, it wasn’t at the most convenient of locations.
It was completed the year before with 16 classrooms to accommodate 600 pupils.

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In 1958, the school changed the design of the female school uniform from a two-piece white blouse and grey skirt to a one-piece dark grey dress. This decision caused a bit of an uproar among parents who felt that the thick material used in the new uniform was impractical for the tropical climate in Singapore. However, I noticed the girls in a class photograph taken in the 1960s by George Pereira were dressed in both the old and new uniforms, so perhaps in a bid to appease the unhappy parents the principal eventually allowed both to be worn to school.

circa 1985

Uniform – before (right) and after (1985)

Collecting information about this school is no mean feat as it was known as several names including Nee Soon Primary School and Nee Soon English Primary School. On top of that, it was as if the school had magically vanished because virtually nothing about it can be found on the internet. What presently occupies the land where Nee Soon School once stood is just a flattened field with no development at all. The school never had any chance of revival.

circa 1986

1986

There used to be a Facebook page for Nee Soon Primary School but it has since been taken down (probably archived) due to inactivity. The remaining alumni group has only two members with the last updated posted more than three years ago.  It would be great if ex-students could gather and revive the page again!

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Meng Teck School (Punggol)

Closed in 1985

Established in 1932, Meng Teck School is a Chinese Catholic school at No. 5 Jalan Seranggong Kechil, 9 miles, off Punggol Road. It was situated right beside St. Anne’s Church where students would go over to play after school.

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Every year, Meng Teck School would participate in a joint sports meet with three other Catholic schools in the Hougang district, namely Hai Sing Girls’ High School, Holy Innocents’ High School and a CHIJ school.

After Meng Teck School was closed, the remaining students were transferred to Holy Innocents’ Primary School and the building was converted to a church centre. The former site is now occupied by CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Ming Sin School (Hougang)

Closed in 1984

Ming Sin School (sometimes misspelled as Min Sin School) was a primary school under the management of Bethal Presbyterian Church after it was acquired in 1950. It was a kampong Chinese school made of attap originally constructed at Bukit Arang Road before the World War II (exact year unknown) where it also served as a shelter during the Japanese occupation.

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1967

After the war, the school moved to 53 Wolskel Road, off Upper Serangoon Road, upon recommendation of the school’s board of directors formed by the locals. Completed in 1959, the 4-storey building had 24 classrooms and a tuck shop. The school was also home to worship services from 1953 as well as Li Sun High School (now known as Presbyterian High School) from 1953 and 1965 respectively. A fairly popular school at first, enrolment began to fall as it failed to keep up with education policy changes.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kim Keat Primary School (Balestier/Toa Payoh)

Closed in 1984

Founded in the early 1960s at Kim Keat Road, Kim Keat Primary School started as Kim Keat Integrated School and was converted into an Adult Education Board Centre which conducted day and night classes in the 1970s.

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Former students fondly remember popping by nearby Kim Keat Vocational Institute for free haircuts by trainees in their hairdressing course. There was also a big bamboo tree in the school compound and students would try to catch spiders crawling around the fence next to it.

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P3C (1980)

After it closed because of falling enrolment, most of the students were transferred to Moulmein Primary School which subsequently merged with Swiss Cottage Primary School in 2002. The school building stood idle for some time until it became the first SCDF Division Headquarters. Today, it houses Curtin University.

Source: [1] [2]


McNair Road School (Boon Keng)

Merged into Rangoon Road Primary School in 1968

Opened in 1925 as McNair Road English School, it was an all-boys primary school located at a temporary structure of Rangoon Road Government English School (before it was torn down) until it moved to requisitioned buildings.

circa 1950

1950

In 1948, McNair School reopened and a large number of primary school students moved over from the old Rangoon Road School. However, it was reported that McNair School was later converted into a Centralised Workshop and staff and students joined the newly merged Rangoon Road Primary School (closed in the early 1980s) at Starlight Road.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Siglap Indah Primary School (Siglap)

Closed in 1983

Located at Kee Sun Avenue, the former Siglap Malay School started off as a kampong school built on wooden foundations in 1903. In 1966, the school was upgraded to a concrete building and eleven years later, converted to an English medium school and renamed to Siglap Indah, or Beautiful Siglap, because of its earlier kampong surroundings and nearby sea.

siglap-indah-pri-sch-Stella-Tan-Kai-Ling

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P1A (circa 1983)

P1A (1983)

Non-graduating students of Siglap Indah were posted to the five schools in the area namely Damai, Jaya (closed 1998), East Coast, Ngee Ann and Min Xin (closed 2003) primary schools. The school had to shut after Mendaki Foundation was given permission by the government to use the premises as its headquarters because of its proximity to Marine Parade, Bedok and Geylang, which had large concentrations of Malays. The handover was finalised after renovations works were completed in mid 1985.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Siglap Primary School (Siglap)

Closed in 1990

About 2 km away from Siglap Indah Primary was Siglap Primary, founded 1956 at 10 La Salle Street. The school operated in double sessions (i.e. sessions I and II) and had uniformed groups that students could join as ECAs such as Scouts and Brownies. It is not known why the school was closed but after it was vacated, the building was used by the Associations for Persons with Special Needs (Katong Special School) until it was launched for public tender in 2009. Most of the students were transferred to Opera Estate Primary School.

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Now

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Ex-Mediacorp actress Ivy Lee is an alumna of the school.

P6A (circa 1985): Ivy lee is fourth girl from left in the front row

P6A (1985): Ivy lee is fourth girl from left in the front row

Source: [1] [2]


Opera Estate Boys’ School
Opera Estate Girls’ School (Siglap)

Merged in 1985 to form Opera Estate Primary School

The exact year of inception of Opera Estate Girls is not known but since single-sex schools that were catered to residents within an estate were typically built around the same time during that era, it is safe to assume that it was in 1959 when Opera Estate Boys was founded. Both schools were located side-by-side along Fidelio Street – now home to Opera Estate Primary School and surrounded by private housing.

opera-estate-boys-school-Raqi-Rashid

Opera Estate Boys’ School

opera-estate-boys-school-Maksom-Som

Opera Estate Boys’ School

opera-estate-boys-school-Beruang-Sarkis

Opera Estate Boys’ School

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The only image of Opera Estate Girls’ students I can find…

I can’t find much about these schools except for the interesting fact that the school song of Opera Estate Boys was written by their first principal, Mr BR Sethi. In 1977, Opera Estate Girls found themselves in the spotlight when four of their primary six pupils beat Raffles Girls’ Primary School in the Primary Science Quiz organised by the then-Science Teachers Association. Both also held fun fares separately to raise funds for their own projects in 1969 and 1979. This could also suggest some form of financial struggle faced by the schools and thus leading to their merger. After the amalgamation, the girls were required to swap their green pinafore with white stripes for an entirely blue one. A new school logo created with colours representing the former schools was also adopted as a result.

opera-estate-primary-school-Sanjay-Sadhnani

Opera Estate Primary School

I think it’s amazing how the Opera Estate Primary has been retaining its original name after all these years when the word “estate” (also undoubtedly not the most modern-sounding one) had been dropped from the names of other schools that used to have the word incorporated in them (e.g. Sennett Estate School and later Sennett Primary School). What do you think?

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]


Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (Opera Estate) (Siglap)

Merged with Katong Convent in 1990 to form Katong Convent Primary School / CHIJ (Katong) Primary

CHIJ (Opera Estate), or more commonly known as Opera Estate Convent, was set up as a government-aided primary school at Jalan Khairuddin in 1959 to cope with the growing demand for places in Katong Convent which had housed both primary and secondary students before the latter relocated to Marine Parade Road. It was subsequently closed at the end of 1989 because, according to a former student, the hill it was built on was eroding. Thereafter, it was absorbed into the newly-furnished CHIJ (Katong) at Martia Road.

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chij-opera-estate-toilet-on-the-left-Gillian-Woodruff-and-MischaP

Toilet on the left

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P6A, class of 1978

The premises of Opera Estate Convent, pretty much still in its original state surprisingly, are known as the Red Cross Training Campsite today.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Whampoa Secondary School (Bendemeer)

Closed in 1994

The Chinese secondary school was established in 1961 at St. Wilfred Road but was later converted to an integrated school due to falling enrolment (and declining popularity of Chinese schools) to accommodate students from the English Language stream.

 

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whampoa-secondary-school-whampoasecondaryschool.sg

In 1971, it became the first government school to complete a building extension without government financial aid. Most of the funds came from public donations and proceeds from the school’s funfair held in 1969. The new wing boasted a library, history and geography rooms, a sound-proof music room, extra-curriculum activities hall, art display room, bookshop and physical exercise instructors’ room. Hardly anyone would find these amenities impressive today but these were definitely a big deal then, as well as a major pull factor.

whampoa-secondary-school-Whampoa-Community-FB

After it became integrated

whampoa-secondary-school-circa-1961-SPH-via-NAS

But then came 1980 when the school principal drew public ire for snipping several girls’ hair publicly in front of the whole school to enforce a rule against long hair. It was also reported that some girls had to have their hair cut two to three times before the principle was satisfied. What angered students and parents further was that the act of embarrassment was done a day before the examinations. Upset by the unwarranted treatment (as many had thought that the principal’s prior warnings were meant for the boys), some girls had even contemplated suicide.

As years went by, the school began to suffer from a dip in enrolment once again. It stopped accepting new applicants altogether for the academic year 1994 when the total student population in the school plunged to 280 (including those in graduating classes) – a far cry from the 1500 pupils in its heyday during the seventies. This reason, coupled by poor academic performance, eventually led to the closure of the school. Bendemeer Secondary, which I believe largely took in Whampoa Secondary students when they closed doors for good, has been occupying their former site since 1998.

The school also has a private Facebook group with over 1000 members.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Bartley Primary School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1986

Set up in 1951 at Jalan Bunga Rampai, Bartley Primary School was housed in a 2-storey building in a serene and conducive environment not too far away from Mount Vernon cemetery. The school’s distinctive feature was their vast number of Nepalese children (more specifically children of Gurkha policemen from the Singapore Police Force at Mount Vernon) who, by 1985, accounted for more than one-third of the school population. Former students also remember having an Indian principal (Mr Valipuram, or just Mr Vali) patrolling around the school compound with a cane in his hands. Oh, don’t we all miss those days when educators were given the rights to discipline their students? We were fearful but at least we grew up respectful of our elders.

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As the school field was always flooded especially during the monsoon season, annual sports meets were mostly held at the field belonging to neighbouring Bartley Secondary School. Those who were present would fondly remember being given a coupon to redeem a piece of cake from Season Bakery and a cup of Milo or Ovaltine.

bartley-primary-school-circa-1985-Ministry-of-Information-and-the-Arts-via-NAS

Most of the students were transferred to nearby Elling (closed 1996) and Cedar primary schools after the school was closed down. The school building has also since been demolished.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Paya Lebar School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1984

The primary school was a one-storey building opened in 1952 at Lorong Bengkok, off Paya Lebar Road, with only seven classrooms. It is not to be confused with Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School which started with the same name. Established without a school field, tuck shop, electricity or modern sanitation, the school gradually expanded with better facilities when population steadily grew to 1200 by 1971.

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paya-lebar-school-Goh-Teck-Khoon-PLS-FB

Former students were then dispersed to MacPherson and Bartley primary schools after their school closed. The site is now taken over by adjoining MacPherson Secondary School, which is slated to merge with Broadrick Secondary in 2017 (more details below).

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Upper Aljunied Technical School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1996 (verification needed)

Located along a quiet Upper Aljunied Road, Upper Aljunied Technical School faced the Mount Vernon Camp and shared a field with Sang Nila Utama Secondary School. As a result of the close proximity to the shooting range of the camp and the Singapore Gun Club, students could often hear explosive sound of firing guns in the afternoon while they were having their ECAs. Although the founding year of the school is not known, it can be assumed that it was in the mid to late 1960s when there was a surge of demand for technical education.

School badge on bottom left (circa 1971)

School badge on bottom left (1971)

The four-storey building had male toilets at the end of every odd-numbered level and female on even. The ground floor was occupied by two Technical Drawing rooms, two Electrical Workshops, one PE stall and a bookshop while the staff room and library took the second floor. Classrooms were mainly on the third and fourth floors.

Upper Aljunied Technical School was the first in the Aljunied district to offer computer classes all the way from Secondary 1 to 5 with the opening of a micro-computer laboratory. They were also among the 18 government schools in Singapore in 1988 to have a computer lab.

The school was closed presumably due to falling enrolment and was merged into Upper Serangoon Technical School which was then renamed to Upper Serangoon Secondary School (verification needed). The building is now used as a student hostel with the tuck shop converted to a seafood restaurant.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kembangan Primary School (Kembangan)

Closed in 1987

Originally known as Kembangan Integrated Primary School, it was the 36th school opened by the PAP government built in the heart of the kampong in 1963. The four-storey building had 24 classrooms, three special rooms, a large teachers’ common room, bookshop and a big tuck shop-cum-assembly hall and could accommodate more than 2500 pupils in both morning and afternoon sessions.

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kembangan-primary-school-circa-1987-KPS_FB

1987

Students who went to Kembangan Primary were relatively poorer than those who attended nearby Siglap Primary and St. Stephen’s Primary schools. The school was also mentioned at the parliament meeting in 1981 to be one of the five schools with the best academic progress.

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1987

In 1986, about a year before Kembangan Primary rolled down their shutters for good at 2 Lengkok Satu, a school bus carrying 13 of their pupils had its emergency exit doors flung open when it collided with a lorry. A nine-year-old girl who was hurled out of the bus died on the spot while other eight children in the vehicle sustained slight cuts and bruises. This incident, as well as the court hearing between the drivers involved, was reported extensively on the news.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Beatty Primary School (Kallang)

Closed in 1995

Opened in 1962 as Beatty Integrated Primary School, the school was a new-type four-storeyed building with 36 classrooms meant for 3000 pupils in both morning and afternoon sessions.

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Opening ceremony (1963)

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Opening ceremony (1963)

Ex-students fondly remember the infamously fierce lady manning the tidbit stall at the tuck shop who would hurry students to make purchase and chase away those who spent too long deciding on what to buy. Even those who merely enquired about the prices were not spared from her curt attitude. Therefore, to avoid getting yelled at by her, fearful students would scan through the snacks from afar and be readied with all the prices in mind before approaching her stall. Every transaction would end with the lady snatching the money from the student’s hand. Well, let’s just say that she probably wouldn’t have gotten away so easily dealing with the Gen Z’ers and their overprotective parents if she does that today 😆

beatty-primary-school-circa-1977-Casey-Yong-Sue-Fai-BPS-FB

1977

Beatty Primary had a promising start with 2500 pupils but the number gradually slipped to 200 in the last few years before it closed as more families in the neighbourhood moved to newer housing estates. The remaining pupils started the new school year in Cambridge Primary School and not long after the property was vacanted, it was taken over by Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA). The building still stands in its entirety.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Nan Chiow Public School (Geylang)

Closed in 1981

Another public Chinese school that bit the dust in 1981 was Nan Chiow (南公学) at 59, Lorong 23, Geylang. Established in 1946, it is not to be confused with Nan Chiau (or Nan Chiaw as it was formerly spelled) Primary School at Woodlands Road. Nan Chiow was known for their accomplishments in ping pong as they were always emerged as champions in competitions especially those organised for the Chinese schools in the Geylang district.

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School song

School song

After the school was shut down, the managing committee received over S$600,000 from the sale of the school site but most of the money eventually went to charity with $50,000 of the proceeds donated to the Basketball Association of Singapore.

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1969

In commemoration of 35th anniversary of the school in 1981, a grand (and final) reunion filled with performances and other activities was held. The event saw the attendance of more than 250 retired principals, teachers and old boys and girls.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Hwa Nong Public School (Geylang/Paya Lebar)

Closed in 1979

Located at 87 (727-3) Jalan Alsagoff near Geylang Serai Village, Hwa Nong Chinese School (华农公学) was previously a private school once used as a warehouse by the Japanese troops during the war. Following the surrender of the Japanese, the school became public to provide children from neighbouring villages a means of education.

hwa-nong-public-school-公立华农学校 Singapore Hwa Nong Public School-FB

The school had a humble beginning with a little more than 10 students. As their popularity grew,  the number of classrooms increased from 3 to 8 to accommodate 700 student at their peak. An office, music room and storeroom were also added as a result. But due to space constraints, the school was unable to build their own field. Hence, P.E. lessons were all conducted at a borrowed space in front of a temple opposite the school. A simple basketball court was constructed there as well.

hwa-nong-public-school-circa-1979-Soo-Hwang-Lim-via-公立华农学校 Singapore Hwa Nong Public School

1979

Hwa Nong was one of the eight participating schools in Geylang for the annual joint sports meet, with the other schools being Maha Bodhi, Nanyang Tun Cheow, Thong Kheng, Lik Teck, Happy, Seng Chi and Nan Chiow schools (more information about these seven schools can be found below). The venue for the sports meet was at a vacant land at the junction of Paya Lebar and MacPherson roads (presently the back of Shell petrol station).

hwa-nong-public-school-report-book-公立华农学校 Singapore Hwa Nong Public School

Report books

The school had to close for a short period in 1964 due to the racial riot which had occurred in the same area. When it reopened, the Primary School Leaving Examination was just around the corner so to make up for lost time, hardworking teachers would conduct supplementary classes every night to get students back on track, even to the extent of dragging unmotivated students out of their homes to attend. Their efforts were not for naught – the school garnered a 78% passing rate that year.

As more villagers move out due to the redevelopment of Geylang Serai, the number of students at Hwa Nong School dwindled, leading to its permanent closure in 1979.

(Wholly translated from here, p94)

Source: [1] [2]


Nanyang Tun Cheow School (Geylang)

Closed between 1975 and 1979

Founded in 1922 by Leong Khay Huay Kuan (龙溪会馆), Nanyang Tun Cheow School (南洋丹詔学校/Nanyang Dan Zhao School) was one of the oldest schools in Geylang. With only 30 students when the Chinese primary school first began, the enrolment steadily grew to 600 by the late 1960s. The school then shifted to a new S$92,000 building at No. 43, Lorong 17 Geylang in 1968.

nanyang-tun-cheow-school-BookSG-NLB

The last known record of the school in print was in 1975, which could suggest that it was still in existence in mid-1970s. The school was, however, closed after facing a sharp decline in student numbers. In 1979, Metropolitan Young Men’s Christian Association (MYMCA) rented the school building which was later known as Sims Centre to serve as the base for the association’s community outreach projects to the youth, elderly and children from lower income families.

The building is presently known as the Nanyang Buddhist Culture Service or the Singapore Buddhist Lodge.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Thong Kheng School (Geylang)

Closed in 1981

Established in 1946 at Kallang Road, Thong Kheng School (同敬学校) was a Chinese school set up for children who were too poor to afford elementary education and the older children who could not get into their standards. Two years after its inception, the school moved to Geylang Lorong 25-A for six years but due to the overwhelming response, Thong Kheng School had to move to the present address at Geylang Lorong 29 in 1954 in order to house 14 classes of a record number of more than 600 students in the morning and afternoon. The school would not be able to sustain the enormous cost of operating the school if not for the philanthropists who were members of the board, patrons and Thong Kheng Temple who donated generously.

thong-kheng-public-school-chinese-schools-exhibition

Thong Kheng School eventually came to a honourable closure due to depleting students count as a result of redevelopment of the Geylang area, as well as losing out to newer schools with better facilities in the vicinity.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Lik Teck School (Geylang)

Closed after 1972 (exact date unknown)

Lik Teck School (立德学校) was a single-storey Chinese school located at 230E Lorong 29 Geylang Road in the early 1930s. It was attended by Low Thia Khiang who is currently the Secretary General of the Workers’ Party.

lik-teck-school-BookSG-NLB

Little information about this school is available online. I understand from a Lianhe Wanbao news article in 1986 that a new primary school of the same name (立德小学) was erected in Woodlands Street 81. A quick search on Google, however, came up with Riverside Secondary School (立德中学, founded 1987 at Woodlands Street 81) and Riverside Primary School (立德小学, founded 2013 at Woodlands Crescent), therefore suggesting that the report is inaccurate and could be referring to the secondary school instead.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Happy School (Geylang)

Closed in 1979

Happy School (快乐学校) derived its name from Happy World (or Gay World) which was one of the three amusement parks built in Singapore before World War II. It was set up by the Happy Opera Company to provide free education to children in Geylang who missed out on school as a result of the war and poverty. Lessons officially began in 1946 at the second storey of 24 Lorong 14, Geylang. The free Chinese school started off with 10 over students but gradually swelled to 120 after a new principal came on board.

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The board of committee had to continuously pour in a lot of money (through holding more opera shows) and source for donors to ensure the school’s survival while making education free and readily available to needy students.  Due to the lack of classrooms, an afternoon session was added to cater to growing demand. The pioneer batches of Primary 6 students had to take their Primary School Leaving Examination at a community centre opposite the school due to space constraints. But as more students joined the school (no formal registration was required for new students until they had completed a semester), the board had no choice but to find another suitable location. In 1947, Happy School shifted to two old houses at 67 and 69 Lorong 14, Geylang.

The new sites were, however, in dilapidated condition. Hence, the board had to raise more money to refurbish the place. With more students enrolled in the school, Happy School could no longer cope with the rising overhead costs and so in 1949, they started to charge parents a minimal sum ranging between $2.50 and $3.50 – an amount which most families could afford. From then on, Happy Free School was renamed Happy School. Impoverished students also were given financial aid.

Students of Happy School performed well academically and non-academically such as in calligraphy, arts and sports and had brought glory to the school by bagging home multiple awards at inter-school competitions.

The school remained hugely popular until Geylang began to undergo redevelopment. The population shift from Geylang after 1965 greatly affected the enrolment rate of Happy School. Despite the fall in student population, the school managed to persevere until 1979.

(Wholly translated from here, p142-143)

Source: [1]


Seng Chi Public School (Geylang)

Closed after 1978 (exact date unknown)

Seng Chi Chinese School (成志学校 ) started in 1931 at 47, Lorong 27A, Geylang at an attap house with three classrooms and one small office. Two sessions were held every day with about 100 students divided into three classes. Each class had a mix of students of different standards (e.g. Primary 5 and 6 students attending the same class) because there weren’t enough students to form a class if the school had segregated them accordingly. Therefore, teachers then had to prepare double the amount of work and teach two groups of students separately.

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All in all, there were 7 staff including the school principal. The school staff had to take turns to ring the school bell after each period whenever the janitor wasn’t around and the principal had to teach subjects that nobody wanted to teach (e.g. music). Due to shortage of specialised teachers, every class attended music, P.E. and art lessons together.

In 1957, the school was asked to move out by the landlord but the management refused unless they were given alternative accommodation. Although there aren’t any reports on what happened after that, I’m quite certain the school was granted to remain eventually.

The school closed in the late 70’s/early 80’s as a result of falling enrolment. The former site was then also earmarked for public housing development.

Source: [1] [2]


Pasir Panjang English School (Pasir Panjang)

Closed in 1986

Constructed in the 1930s as a primary school at Yew Siang Road, Pasir Panjang English School was, in fact, a co-education experiment proposed by the British government for both boys and girls to study in the same elementary school.

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In anticipation of the Japanese occupation in 1942, the principal of Outram Secondary School sent all of the school’s records to Pasir Panjang English School for safe keeping a year before under the orders of the Education Department. Subsequently, this school suffered a direct hit during the World War II and wiped out Outram’s records from 1906 to 1942. The school then underwent renovation works and reopened some time after 1948.

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1976

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1983

It had produced a couple of notable alumni such as our former Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong, former Senior Minister of State for National Development Dr Tan Eng Liang, and the founding President of Nanyang Technological Institute Dr Cham Tao Soon.

Pasir Panjang English School is now occupied by Breakthrough Mission, a drug rehabilitation centre. This halfway house was featured in an SG50 music video by StarHub. Skip to 0:26, 1:23 and 1:52 for shots of the classroom corridor in the video below:

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Hua Kiau School (Pasir Panjang)

Closed in 1981

Founded in 1931 on the first floor of a shophouse at 8km Pasir Panjang Road with only 17 pupils, the Chinese school later functioned in an attap building near the now-defunct Bakau Lane (still within Pasir Panjang) in 1940 and subsequently in a more solidly-built double-storey structure half a mile away. Completed in 1960 on two-and-a-half acres of land on Pasir Panjang Hill (5½ milestone Pasir Panjang Road) near Haw Par Villa, the final relocated address had a commanding view of the sea and the southern islands. It had 26 classrooms to accommodate 1400 pupils, an office, library, common room, stage and assembly hall to boot. It was also the first building in the area to introduce modern sanitation. All these were made possible by the generous contributions of the residents in the vicinity and through the sale of cinema show tickets.

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Despite the new state-of-the-art facilities coupled with the school’s rich history and robust activities, the enrolment rate failed to live up to expectations. From over 800 students when it first moved, the number dropped to less than 200 in seven classes in 1977 with  only a handful of students registered for Primary One that year. This was in spite of the fact that the school had already been allowed by the Education Ministry to enroll students in English-medium classes.

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1986

After the school’s closure, the building was renovated and occupied by the Colombo Plan Staff College (a training college for senior personnel in technician education from Colombo Plan countries) in 1983. However, the college was eventually asked to move out of Singapore within the next three years “in fairness to other countries“. Based on the today’s map, the former site is now occupied by private estates.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Sepoy Lines School I / Pearl Bank School
Sepoy Lines School II / Park Road School
(Chinatown)

Merged in 1985 to form Pearl Park Primary School (verification needed)
Merged into Pearl’s Hill School in 1995
Closed in 2001

Among the hundreds of expunged schools I had researched on to feed my curiosity about disappearing schools in Singapore, reading up about those in Chinatown area always left me utterly bewildered especially since many of them share rather similar names. I am one who is easily confused so in a way I’m glad the MOE has long ceased to name schools after the locality where they will be established.

 

From what I had gathered online (after sifting through tens and hundreds of web pages because everyone seems to be saying different things), there used to be two Sepoy Lines Malay schools. Sepoy Lines School I was renamed Pearl Bank School when it moved to Pearl’s Hill on 15 June 1954 while Sepoy Lines School II was later known as Park Road School.

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Pearl Bank Primary School

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Pearl Bank Primary School (P6A, class of 1981)

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Park Road School

As I was trying to unearth more information about the first merger, I stumbled upon even more ambiguous and confusing news articles about the Sepoy Lines school. It was reported in 1971 that the Sepoy Lines Malay School building was demolished as part of the urban renewal programme to build offices in the Park Road vicinity. Noticed that “Sepoy Lines Malay School” was used instead of Park Road School? *scratches head*

Can somebody enlighten me, please? Were there more than two Sepoy Lines schools in that area or what? O_O  Why do I see ex-students of Park Road School addressing Sepoy Line Malay School on Facebook like it’s another school? How mysterious.

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Pearl Park Primary School

Anyway, Sepoy Lines Malay School was then shifted to the first two floors of a multi-storey building at Chin Swee Road (the record-breaking 12-storey tall building, I suppose) that was shared with Pearl’s Hill Primary School. Somehow along the way, Sepoy Lines Malay School merged with Pearl Bank School and eventually with Pearl’s Hill? Apart from the nuggets of history on NLB, there were no other news reports to confirm any of these mergers. It’s so weird…

To read more about Pearl Hill’s School, click here for part I of the Closed and Merged Schools series.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Kong Chow School (Chinatown)

Closed in 1968

Cantonese clan association Kong Chow Wui Koon founded Kong Chow Wui Koon Free School (冈州会馆义学) in 1929 on the third storey of their then-newly-built clan premises at New Bridge Road. The school provided free education to their initial 80 students across Primary 1 to 4 levels, occupying only two classroom. All lessons were conducted in Chinese.

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1952

During the Japanese Occupation (February 1942 to August 1945), the site was used as the Red Cross Association Headquarters to provide medical treatment, medicine, and even porridge. Classes at the school resumed after the Japanese surrendered but due to post-war recession, the school found themselves struggling to keep afloat without any steady revenue. Thus, they started charging fees between $1 and $5. From then on, the school was also known as Kong Chow School (冈州学校).

In order to cope with the influx of overaged students after Japanese Occupation, the clan association decided to expand the school grounds to the second storey of the premises to accommodate as many students as possible. Classes were divided to two sessions – morning and afternoon – as the number of students exceeded 200.

Primary 5 and 6 classes were subsequently added in 1949. By then, the school’s population was more than 400 students. Facilities such as a field were also added for students to play sports and exercise.

Between 1947 and 1959, there were 9 classes in the afternoon session with over 500 students. The school faced classroom shortage as the number of students continued to increase rapidly. Hence, the clan association had no choice but to turn the balcony on the second storey into a classroom to occupy the smallest class.

During the school’s heyday, the clan association also conducted night classes for young people in the workforce. Over 100 of them enrolled into the Chinese and English classes. At the same time, the clan association also attempted to raise funds to build a school, but it wasn’t reported if this plan was materialised.

In addition to regular classes, the school also inculcated strong values and character in their students through specially dedicated weeks that run throughout the semester such as Courtesy Week, Safety Week, Honesty Week and Labour Week. Activities that tied in with the theme of the week were also arranged. During the Courtesy Week, for instance, a most courteous representative would be elected from every class and the whole school would then vote for the most courteous student among them. Weeks which were designated for hands-on activities such as calligraphy and sports helped students develop their skills and ability to work as a team.

In the 1960s, the student population in Kong Chow School began to diminish with more parents opting to send their children to English school. After further decline, the Principal, who had also planned to retire, decided to close the school for good in 1968.

(Most parts translated from here)

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Jurong Special Secondary School (Bukit Timah)

Renamed to Toh Tuck Secondary School in 1965 (verification needed)
Closed in 1991 (verification needed)

Formerly Bukit Timah Government Chinese Middle School at 7¾ milestones Jurong Road, off Bukit Timah Road (now known as Toh Tuck Road), it was a school set up mainly for overaged students from Government, aided and private schools to continue their English secondary education. Classes officially began in 1960 with curriculum for Forms (Secondary) III, IV and V consisted of English language, English literature, History, Geography, Elementary Mathematics, Art, Needlework for girls, Biology or Health Science, language and National language. The school fees were same as other secondary school pupils (i.e. $3 a month for girls and $4 a month for boys). No much information about this school is available online. I can’t find any pictures depicting the school as well.

Several pupils of the school took offense over the use of the word “special” in describing the institution. The reason for that wasn’t stated but they probably felt singled out. I would understand the furore if the “special” word is incorporated in a regular school today as it could be mistaken for a special needs school.

It was mentioned by a former student on Toh Tuck Secondary’s Facebook Page that Jurong Special Secondary School was eventually renamed to Toh Tuck Secondary School (as opposed to Jurong Secondary School, as this name was already taken by another school in Jurong West) in 1965, coincidentally the year Jurong Special Secondary was last reported in the news (which is strange for a school that opened to so much fanfare). Although no records on this renaming exercise can be found, I have a hunch that it was true based on the similarity between the address of Toh Tuck Secondary (off 7th mile Bukit Timah Road) and Jurong Special Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Min Chu School (Farrer Road)

Closed in 1979

Established as a Chinese village school in 1946/1947 using kind donations from locals residing in Farrer and Holland villages, Min Chu Public School was one of the best in the area in the 1960s with 400 students. During its prime, the school was bustling with activities such as basketball, badminton and ping pong. It even had its own playing field. The toilets underwent a $4000 renovation but even so, the school still failed to attract new registrations.

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1963

As a result of falling enrolment due to competition from modern schools that were equipped with special rooms, sport equipment and the latest teaching aids, the school had to shut permanently after its remaining 19 students completed their primary education.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Wei Sin Public School (Jurong West/Lim Chu Kang)

Closed in 1979

Formerly known as Wu Neng School (武能学校), Wei Sin was a small village school established in 1926 at 14.1 km Jurong Road. It was forced to closed in 1942 but resumed operations in 1945 when the Japanese surrendered at the end of World War II. It was also at this point in time that it took on the name Wei Sin.

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School song

The school uniform was white top and khaki pants for the boys and khahi skirts for the girls. The school had their own tuck shop, makeshift badminton court, basketball court, ping pong tables and a wooden hut called The Library.

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At its peak, Wei Sin had over 600 students. But due to population shifts and the fact that Jurong was selected as the site for the development of an industrial estate, the strength of Wei Sin Public School dwindled tremendously. Upon time of closure, it had only 55 students remaining (27 in Primary 5 and 28 in Primary six). The Primary 5 students were then transferred to neighbouring modern schools the following year.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Pei Tek Public School (Jurong West)

Closed in 1981

A Chinese-medium school established in 1946 Pei Tek School (also spelled “Pei Teck”) had moved from a smaller location to 10¾ mile, Jurong Road when student population grew between 1958 and 1969. It was so popular that it had to keep adding more classrooms to cater for demand.

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School song

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1963

But like other Chinese schools that could not keep up with the shifting demographics and growing preference for English-medium schools, signs of decline of Pei Tek started appearing in mid-1970s. Although there were 281 students  enrolled in 1976, there wasn’t enough incoming primary 1 students to form a class.

Source: [1]


Lee Choon Public School (Buona Vista)

Closed in 1979

Lee Choon Public School was a Chinese primary school established in the 1920s at North Buona Vista Road (off Holland Road). Like the other rural schools on this list, Lee Choon had to close due to falling enrolment triggered by a widespread preference for modern schools that were equipped with better facilities. There were only 27 students at Lee Choon at time of closure.

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Unfortunately, not much information about this school is available.

Source: [1] [2]


Chao Yang School (Dhoby Ghaut)

Closed in 1981

Located at 341 Clemenceau Avenue, Chao Yang was a four-storey Chinese Government-aided (primary) school established in 1953 and managed by a Teochew clan association Teo Yeonh Huay Kuan (潮阳会馆) which, at that time, was just beside it. It is not to be confused with the special needs school at Ang Mo Kio which adopted the same name in gratitude of the original Chao Yang School management committee for allowing them to use the school premises for a 5-year period before it moved to Ang Mo Kio to make way for the Central Expressway.

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In the last 1970s, Chao Yang School started admitting students of other nationalities to ensure their survival. This, however, proved to be futile as enrolment continued to dwindle due to urban renewal and modernisation. By the end of 1981, the school had just one class of 14 Primary Six pupils and 2 teachers.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Min Chong Public School (Changi)

Closed in 1981

Two schools (Bo Wen and Pei Nan schools) were originally constructed at Mata Ikan, a village at Changi, to offer education to the villagers’ children. But not long after that, the second world war broke out so both schools had no choice but to cease operations. After the war ended, the committee of Pei Nan School decided to reopen the school for the benefit of those children whose education was disrupted because of the war. The committee rented a three-storey bungalow that was able to accommodate 150 students, and also employed 10 teachers. At the same time, the school was also renamed Min Chong School (民众学校).

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1986

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Basketball court (1986)

In order to cater to the needs of Malay villagers who were not able to integrate into the Chinese education system at Min Chong School, the committee introduced English-medium classes, and therefore making them the first Chinese school in post-war Singapore to offer English classes. Subsequently, new English-medium schools such as Bedok Boys’ and Girls’ sprang up one after another around the area and Malay villagers began to send their children to these schools instead, resulting in the declining demand for English-medium classes at Min Chong. The school eventually stopped the programme completely and reverted to its original concept of being a fully Chinese school.

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1986

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Sports Day

In 1948, the owner of the bungalow which housed the school wanted the property back. As a result, Min Chong School committee relocated to 823 Somapah Road. By 1972, the number of students at Min Chong had also noticeably diminished. There were speculations as to the possible causes of the dip in enrolment. Firstly, as there were only 59 registrations for Primary One in the beginning of 1971, the school, being cost-effective, decided to open only one class for 44 students. The remaining 15 students were then dispersed to neighbouring Red Swastika School and this led to numerous complaints as well as the unhappiness of many parents towards the school, making them reluctant to register their children at Min Chong in the subsequent years.

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1966

Secondly, the construction of Changi Airport could have caused affected residents to relocate. Hence, with lesser people residing in the vicinity, the number of incoming also students decreased drastically. By 1977, there was absolutely no new student intake at all and there were only 17 students remaining in the school in this final year of operation. With a heavy heart, the school committee announced the closure of the school with effect from the following year and offered the building to the Singapore Red Cross. With the help of Min Chong School committee, the premises were converted to an emergency evening clinic serving people living in the rural area of Somapah.

(Almost wholly translated from here)

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Nong Min Public School (Simei)

Closed in 1977

Set up by predominantly Hokkien and Hainanese merchants and farmers in 1946 using their own money and resources, Nong Min Public School (农民公学) was in a poorly-maintained military police warehouse left behind by the Japanese troops at Jalan Tiga Ratus (Upper Changi Road), set amidst the rubber and coconut plantations in a tranquil and peaceful village environment. The aim of the Chinese school was to provide education to 300 poor village children who had no school to attend.

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Due to the lack of classrooms, it was not unusual to combine classes. Multi-age classrooms were a commonplace (especially during the first few years of establishment) to accommodate students whose studies were interrupted by the war as well as young children from the post-war baby boom. For example, a Primary One class could have a mixture of students between the age of 7 and 18. Some lessons had to be conducted in the rubber plantations as well to relieve overcrowding in the classrooms.

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The school was renovated in the 1960s and not long later in 1977, the land which the school sat on was acquired by the government for redevelopment. As a result, all the villages were resettled and Nong Min School was forced to close.

The school was located in the present East Point Mall in Simei.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School (Bishan/Upper Thomson)

Closed in 1981

Originally named Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting Free School (, the Chinese school was formed by Cantonese clan association Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting (or Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng) with public donations of about $300 in 1936 to provide free education to children who did not have access to school. The school’s first principal worked pro bono and only one teacher was employed to teach a class of 40 students. Lessons officially started in September in the same year. As the student population grew to 60, another classroom was later added to the school, which was housed on the foundation’s temple premises.

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Thereafter more monetary support started pouring in for the school and hence giving more students the opportunity to study. The school also received a thousand over copies of textbooks and more than 130 school uniforms from the educated members of the public. On top of that, a garden was also set up in the school compound for learning purposes.

Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, forcing the school to close abruptly. But it was quick to resume operations after the war ended in 1945. By then, the school was already in bad condition and was lacking the necessary teaching equipment. Even so, that did not stop parents from registering their children with the school, therefore boosting the student headcount to 170.

With student enrolment growing steadily in the next 9 years, the committee decided to build a bigger school to admit more students. A new school building was completed within a year in 1956 at Kampung San Teng (a Cantonese village that began as a small community of settlers engaged in the funeral trade) at Upper Thomson Road. Equipped with six classrooms, a principal office, staff room, school hall, canteen, book shop and storeroom, the school was considered the most modern and ideal school in the village at that point in time. It was also subsequently renamed Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School (广惠肇碧山亭学校).

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The school underwent a drastic makeover under the direction of the school committee. Besides having basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, new teaching aids were also bought. Financial support was sought from the education ministry to purchase new tables for the students while old tables were donated to needy students who could otherwise not be able to afford one for their home and thus had to do their homework on the floor.

Sadly, despite the favourable reception at the beginning, the school, as with most Chinese schools, were overshadowed by the growing popularity of English schools (such as the newly constructed Westlake Primary nearby, closed in 2002) and faced the prospect of closure due to flagging student enrolment. Even though the school had sought permission from the education ministry to hold English-stream classes, it failed to receive an approval.

Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School, once abuzz with 450 students filling the campus grounds every day in the morning and afternoon sessions, was down to 59 students – 19 Primary 4, 16 Primary 5 and 24 Primary 6 – in the morning session before it shut down. Following its closure, remaining students were transferred to newer schools in Ang Mo Kio.

The former site of Kwong Wai Shiu Peck Shan Ting School, originally earmarked for either an old folks’ home or columbarium cum funeral parlour, is present-day Bishan public housing estate.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

 

 


Kota Raja Malay School (Bugis/Lavender)

Closed in 1982

Formerly occupied by Victoria Bridge School, Sekolah Melayu Kota Raja or Kota Raja Malay School took over the two-storey building in 1933. The school was sited opposite the present Malabar Mosque in Jalan Sultan (Lavender Street) and was an all-boys school while most Malay girls attended Kampong Gelam Malay Girls’ School located where Madrasah Aljunied is today. The school later applied to become integrated (coed) in 1979 because in the previous year, only one registered for Primary One where there were 42 vacancies.

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In the past, there was no Malay library as reading habit was not cultivated yet. The Malay library at Kota Raja Malay School was the first and on Saturdays, pupils from other Malay schools would go there to read and borrow books.

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School field

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With only 32 remaining pupils in Primary Three, Five and Six and 7 staff including the principal, the school was no longer viable and had to close in 1982. The school was originally leased to the Council for the Education of Muslim Children (Mendaki) as headquarters for organising educational activities, but was later found unsuitable because the site would be affected by government redevelopment plans within the next five years. The building has since been demolished.

Abbas Abu Amin (Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1991) is an alumnus of the school.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]


Boo Teck School (Farrer Park)

Closed in 1981

Established in 1955 by Nanyang Sim Clan Association (南洋沈氏公会), Boo Teck School (武德学校) was named after an ancestor. After receiving a sizeable amount of donations, it moved from the old, run-down building to one that was newer and bigger at 63, Beatty Road in 1959 as the former location was not able to accommodate the growing student population (10 classes in that year).

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Unfortunately, with more parents opting to send their children to English-stream schools during the early 70’s, Boo Teck gradually lost its shine and the number of students was reduced to a mere 16 in its last operating year.

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In 1988, the school building made way for Wu De Building (武德大厦), a residential complex.

Source: [1] [2]


Finally, continuing this list of school casualties are these 11 secondary schools (as opposed to the 22 reported on the news as I believe half of them will retain their names, so they will technically still be in existence) which will be a thing of the past due to falling cohort sizes. The names of the merged schools have not been decided upon yet but I will update this post once I’ve gotten hold of the news. Now, brace yourselves for the massive addition..

Balestier Hill Secondary School (Novena)

To merge into Beatty Secondary School in 2017

Established as the first technical school in 1964, the former Balestier Hill Integrated Secondary Technical School was a coed school for Chinese and English languages with 26 classrooms. It was named after Joseph Balestier, the first United States Consul of Singapore. In 1982, it became a standard English medium school when the last batch of Chinese medium students graduated. In 1991, the name of the school was changed to Balestier Hill Secondary.

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1964

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School logo – then and now

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Sec Tech 4 (class of 1968)

Balestier Hill Technical had an excellent track record in the area of sports, especially canoeing (as the school shared honours in the National Schools Canoeing Championships with National Junior College in 1983) and swimming.

Rangoon and Monk’s Hill Secondary schools merged into Balestier Hill Secondary in 2001 and 2007 respectively and the amalgamated school continued to operate from the current site of Balestier Hill Secondary at 11 Novena Rise.

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circa 2015

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2016

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2016

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Balestier Hill Secondary will merge with Beatty Secondary in 2017. The merged school will be operating from the site of Beatty Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Henderson Secondary School (Bukit Merah)

To merge into Bukit Merah Secondary School in 2017

When Henderson Secondary School opened in 1974 at the now-defunct Friendly Hill at Preston Road (Telok Blangah), there were only 600 Secondary One students and 24 teachers.

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Old building

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Old building

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Old building

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Old building

In 1976, it moved to its current address at 100 Henderson Road (the junction of Henderson Road and Jalan Bukit Merah) as the school population grew to 1600 with 60 teaching staff. The four-storey school is the 115th school built by the then-government at a cost of over two million dollars. It had 24 classrooms and four special rooms, a two-storey Science-cum-Home Economics block and a canteen with the school hall above it. There was also a three-storey technical workshop block that was built separately from the main building. The school subsequently underwent upgrading works between 1994 and 1997.

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Now

Henderson Secondary was one of the few schools to have air rifle shooting ranges installed by the Ministry of Education. This was done to encourage marksmanship among students (more specifically, the National Cadet Corps members).

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A part of the school

The girls originally wore loose white blouse adorned with a simple, connoted tie, held in place with a pin-on badge. It was paired with a navy blue, box-pleated skirt. The boys, on the other hand, wore white shirts and navy blue tie with an embroidered school crest. Eight years after adopting this attire, the girls’ blouses were modified to look similar to that worn by the boys, which remained unchanged across all levels until 1990 where the boys in the upper-secondary levels would wear navy blue long pants and a white shirt with ‘Henderson’ embroidered in white on top of the pocket. The school tie was also changed to the current design and only worn during assembly and other formal occasions. Further modifications were made to the uniform in 1998 as the embroidered ‘Henderson’ was changed to blue, hence the current school uniform.

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Former uniform

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Current uniform

The first school badge was diamond-shaped with the letters “EFL” in the middle which stood for the school motto ” Education for Life”. In 1981, the badge was redesigned into a shape of a shield by an art teacher of the school. Within the shield, there is a book signifying knowledge and a flame which Hendersonians strive to keep ablaze and an upright figure which represents ‘youth’ and ‘life’. The school song, penned by a music teacher in 1974, remains unchanged even until today.

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School logo – then and now

Henderson Secondary will merge with Bukit Merah Secondary School in 2017. The merged school will be operating from the site of Bukit Merah Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


MacPherson Secondary School (MacPherson)

To merge into Broadrick Secondary School in 2017

MacPherson Secondary School was started in 1967 as an integrated government school where three-quarters of the student population was studying in the Chinese stream and the rest in English stream. Named after Colonel MacPherson (1st Colonel of the Straits Settlement which Singapore was a part of from 1826 to 1946). The first intake was made up of Secondary One students from the MacPherson estate (one of the earliest housing estates) and Secondary Two  and Three students from Upper Serangoon Technical, Upper Aljunied Technical and Sang Nila Utama schools.

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1960s

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In 1981, the Technical Department formerly functioning independently under the name of Paya Lebar School was integrated into the school. Three years later, the school became a full English Language medium school with the graduation of the last cohort of Secondary 4  candidates from the Chinese stream.

The idea of having a new uniform was conceived in 1999. In 2001, students donned the new uniform to usher in the new millennium. In the same year, work at the new school site at 121 Circuit Road (beside the old campus) also started. It was to be ready for occupancy by 2003.

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Current campus

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MacPherson Secondary was joined by pupils from Woodsville Secondary School, which ceased operations in 2003, at their new school building. The newly merged school adopted the new vision “Dare to Dream, Innovate and Lead”. The different blocks of the school were named after philosophers (e.g. Aristotle), writers (e.g. Shakespeare), inventors (e.g. Newton) and pioneers of Singapore (e.g. Govindasamy) in the hope that MacPhersonians will be as successful as them in various fields.

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2013

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2015

Notabi alumni of the school include local actor Desmond Shen Jin Xing and actress Xiang Yun.

MacPherson Secondary will merge with Broadrick Secondary School in 2017. The merged school will be operating from the site of Broadrick Secondary.

Source: [1] [2]


North View Secondary School (Yishun)

To merge into Northland Secondary School in 2017

With all the news surrounding the death of Benjamin Lim recently, I believe the name North View Secondary School is already etched in everyone’s mind. Instead of basking in negativity, let’s all remember this soon-to-be-gone school for their achievements, shall we?

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North View Secondary School was formed in 1988 at Yishun Avenue 11 (school address now considered as 530 Yishun Ring Road) with an enrolment of 483 pupils, 35 teaching staff and 12 non-teaching staff. The S$7.2 million school building, however, was not ready for occupancy until June that year. Hence, classes had to be held at two locations – the Secondary One pupils were housed in Yishun Secondary School while the Secondary Two to Five pupils were in the former Upper Thomson Secondary School building.

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Among the facilities in the school were special rooms for music, arts and crafts and audio-visual aids, an indoor rifle range and outdoor courts for basketball, sepak takraw and volleyball. From early 1998 to June 1999, two new extension blocks were constructed – an admin and a classroom block. The admin-block houses the office, staff room, library, conference room, computer laboratories and three media resource rooms.

north-view-secondary-school-Larry-Toh-North-View-Secondary-School-FB

north-view-secondary-school-uniform

North View Secondary will merge with Northland Secondary School in 2017 after operating for only 28 years. The merged school will be taking over the site of Northland Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Pioneer Secondary School (Jurong West)

To merge into Boon Lay Secondary School in 2017

Pioneer Secondary School was set up in January 1994 with 12 Secondary One classes. While waiting for the school building to be ready at 21 Jurong West Street 81, it was temporarily housed at Hong Kah Secondary School under the management of a single principal.

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pioneer-secondary-school-Shafiqa-Amira-Pioneer-Secondary-School-FB

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It had to open an extra Secondary Two class when it moved into its new building because of overwhelming response from residents nearby. This additional class brought to a total of 14 Secondary Two classes and 10 Secondary One classes in 1995. The school was spread over three hectares of land and surrounded by Housing Board flats. Its facilities included 36 classrooms, two computer laboratories and one theatrette. The S$17,000 195-cm-tall aluminium sculpture at the entrance of the school was donated by Kwan Yong Construction Pte Ltd (the builder of the school). Named Unity, it shows two profiles united as one, depicting the idea of co-operation between the school and the community.

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2016

The school was one of the five in Singapore in 2006 to adopt a cashless payment scheme that allowed students to buy canteen food with a Nets card. Designated Nets terminals around the school enabled students to transfer their weekly or monthly allowance from their parents’ bank accounts into what is being called “My Card” to reduce their frequency of cash transactions. To prevent misuse, a system that allowed to control the amount of money the students received was installed.

Pioneer Secondary will merge with Boon Lay Secondary School in 2017 after a mere 23 years in operation. The merged school will be located on the site of Boon Lay Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Siglap Secondary School (Pasir Ris)

To merge into Coral Secondary School in 2017

Opened in 1955, Siglap Secondary School was located at a two-storey building with 20 classrooms at Cheviot Hill, Siglap, now occupied by the Global Indian International School. The school was also widely recognised for their achievements in sports (more specifically for their outstanding performance in athletics, swimming, football, cricket and badminton), so much so that it had always been the venue for sports activities in the past. In 1973, they managed to raise funds for the building of their own bitumen track through a mammoth walkathon.

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siglap-secondary-school-Ting-Chung-Hua-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB-2

Former building

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Science lab at the former building

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Former building

siglap-secondary-school-Anjang-Aki-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

Former uniform

In 1998, Siglap Secondary shifted to its current campus at 10 Pasir Ris Drive 10. The relocation saw the steady growth in the school enrolment in the new estate from a mere 870 when it was still at Cheviot Hill. The number at its peak was so big that there were insufficient space in the school and some smaller classes had to be conducted in the canteen.

siglap-secondary-school-the-new-paper

Current building

siglap-secondary-school-Ting-Chung-Hua-Siglap-Secondary-School-Alumni-FB

Current building

Upholding its reputation as an art powerhouse in the 1970s and 80s, the new Siglap Secondary was also the art centre for the east zone where students from almost 50 secondary schools including top schools like Dunman High and Anglican High could go to learn pottery, computer animation, sculpture and other art forms. It had also set up a multi-media lab, complete with 23 Macintosh computers that allowed students to experiment with three-dimensional designs.

Unfortunately, its enrolment in recent years shrank from a peak of 1,400 in 2003 to about 830 in 2013, leading to the closure of some of its uniformed groups such as Scouts and Red Cross (as they require a critical mass to carry on). Since 2013, the school has only been taking in about 200 Secondary One students each year, half the intake of more than a decade ago.

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Current uniform

Notable alumni of the school include Singapore Idol champion Hady Mirza and Chee Swee Lee, Singapore’s first Asian Games gold medallist in the 400m race in 1974.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Si Ling Secondary School (Marsiling)

To merge into Marsiling Secondary School in 2017

Established in 1980, Si Ling Secondary was the first secondary school in Woodlands to offer both English and Chinese as media of instruction. At one stage, it was renowned for its performance in Hockey. Beige blouse and brown bottom used to be the school attire. Now, students don light blue-and-teal uniform.

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Former uniform

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Current uniform

Once notorious for students who carried flick-knives, it was reported in 2006 that Si Ling Secondary was the only school in Singapore without a Secondary 1 Express stream class since 1999. Clearly, the school’s notoriety for gangsterism had put off some of its potential students, causing it to be the least preferred secondary school in the country. Even most of its own students, in fact, had not listed Si Ling as one of their six choices but were posted there due to poor PSLE results. Based on reports I read, its dark reputation seemed to date back to the early 1990s when students rejected by other schools, including those with discipline problems, were all taken in by the then-principal who, being a compassionate educator he was, firmly believed in giving delinquents a second chance. On top of that, students with the lowest PSLE scores, as low as double digits were accepted into the school.

As much as I would like to applaud the nobility of the principal, a school is, after all, an institution heavily dependent on good image and a reasonable student population to function. With such a lousy reputation for being a school for hooligans (and not forgetting how most of us are so face-conscious), who would want to study there? I know I won’t..

Determined to turn the school around, the principal who took over the helm of the school between 2000 and 2009 offered $500 scholarships to the top 10 students who made the cut for the Express stream, sent teachers to neighbouring primary schools to promote the school, held cheerleading  performances and got students to give speeches to primary school students. These new initiatives, however, failed to evoke the desired response and the school remained largely comprised of Normal-stream students even today. There are Express classes for each level from Secondary Two onward mostly filled by students originally in the Normal (Academic) stream and had performed well.

 

In 2014, Si Ling Secondary was awarded the Lee Hsien Loong Award for Innovations in the Normal Course in recognition of the school’s effort in “providing a holistic education for their students in a caring and nurturing way”. Although the public does seem to have a better impression of the school now (even the website looks so atas), I guess it is still not enough to attract students to the school (I passed by the school just last year and man, it really needs a facelift).

si-ling-secondary-school-Bing-Cheng-Si-Ling-Secondary-School-FB

si-ling-secondary-school-Izah-Faezah-Si-Ling-Secondary-School-FB

 

Si Ling Secondary will merge with Marsiling Secondary School in 2017 and will operate out of the latter’s site. The merged school will be officially named Marsiling Secondary School while adopting Si Ling’s Chinese name. It will take in around 320 Si Ling students in Secondary Three, Four and Five.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Bedok North Secondary School (Aljunied)

To merge into Damai Secondary School in 2018

Started in 1981, Bedok North Secondary was housed in the premises of Temasek Secondary School as its own campus at Bedok North Avenue 3 would only be ready in the following year. The school, built at the cost of $6.2 million, had facilities including a library, an audio visual aid room, a two-storey workshop and technical workshops. It was also the only secondary school in the then-Eunos constituency.

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Officially opening in 1983

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circa 1981-1986

Responding to the school’s obesity rate of 18% (4% more than national average) in 1994, about $5000 was spent on renovations and equipment such as cycling machines, treadmills and step-up machines to turn a room in the school into a mini-gymnasium in hope to attract more obese students to exercise.

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circa 1981-1986

With only 29 classrooms and limited vacant rooms for extra activities at the old building, classes had to be conducted in two sessions and everyone still had to rush for space. As a result, the school moved to more spacious premises at its current site at Jalan Damai in 2000, also to meet growing demands for a secondary school in the Bedok Reservoir area. The new building allowed for the school to go single-session and hold more after-school activities. An underground rifle range that doubled as a bunker, a music and dance studio, and four high-tech computer labs were amongst the many facilities that students could enjoy at the new building.

bedok-north-secondary-school-2016-Trybe

In the mid-1980s, Bedok North Secondary emerged as zone champions and national runner-ups in foottball championships numerous times. It is also recognised for their outstanding performance in Sepak Takra for which they had also clinched the championship title in 2006 and 2015.

bedok-north-secondary-school-2014-URA-FB

Bedok North Secondary will merge with Damai Secondary School in 2018 and will operate out of the latter’s site as it offers a better teaching and learning environment. Once upgrading work is completed at Damai Secondary by 2018, it would also be equipped with new facilities such as an Indoor Sports Hall and synthetic field.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Bishan Park Secondary School (Bishan)

To merge into Peirce Secondary School in 2018

Built at a cost of $17.3 million, Bishan Park Secondary was founded in 1993 at 2 Sin Min Walk. It had a career resource centre equipped with 12 computers, two huge television sets and a library of CD-ROMs on polytechnic education, job-interviewing skills and assessment tests that match personalities to jobs. This centre was shared with 40 other secondary school nearby.

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Students from Peirce Secondary School attended lessons at Bishan Park Secondary School for a year (1994-1995) while waiting for their new school to be completed near Sin Min Walk.

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bishan-park-secondary-school-website

In a bid to help autistic children from Pathlight School integrate into society, the special education school partnered with Bishan Park and Chong Boon Secondary schools by letting their autistic secondary school students join their mainstream peers for selected subjects taught by mainstream teachers while a Pathlight teacher tags along to these classes to give extra help.

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Bishan Park Secondary will merge with Peirce Secondary School in 2018 and will operate out of the latter’s site.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Chong Boon Secondary School (Ang Mo Kio)

To merge into Yio Chu Kang Secondary School in 2018

Chong Boon Secondary School started functioning in 1994 at the former site of Anderson Secondary School at Ang Mo Kio Street 44. It was a morning session school with 13 classes of 483 Secondary One students and 23 staff members. The following year, its enrolment increased to 772 students and the staff strength increased to 35.

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The school became a double session school with 29 classes and 1022 students in 1996. To cope with the growing school population, new facilities such as computer laboratories were added to the premise. The old Chong Boon Secondary School was subsequently tore down in 2001 and the school moved to its new premise at 2 Ang Mo Kio Street 44 in 2002.

The school is home to a number of niche CCAs including A Capella Club and Cheerobics which clinched a gold medal in 2005. Chong Boon Secondary was the first school to be awarded the Niche Award in Environmental Education in 2009 for their exemplary green efforts. In 2010, the school also took in the Youth Olympic Games Torch Relay.

chong-boon-secondary-school-singaporemagazine.sif.org.sg

In June 2002, Chong Boon Secondary used fingerprint identification to monitor habitually late students. The 60 students who were identified as always coming in late, which in the case of the school, is after 7.15am, had to record their time of arrival when they came to school in the morning.

Chong Boon Secondary will merge with Yio Chu Kang Secondary School in 2018 and the merged school will be located at the latter’s site.

Source: [1] [2]


Greenview Secondary School (Pasir Ris)

To merge into Loyang Secondary School in 2018

Completed at the cost of about $14 million at 15 Pasir Ris Street 21, Greenview Secondary started in 1994 with 17 Secondary One classes and 681 students. It had 36 classrooms, more laboratories, and computer, commerce, language, CCA rooms than other schools and had a career guidance and a counselling room. The building also featured an amphitheater in the atrium to provide a place for student-staff interaction.

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In a bid to equip students with the knowledge of connecting computers to the web of networks across the globe during the internet boom, Greenview Secondary set up a “networking academy” using course material from the American-based network manufacturer Cisco Systems in 1999. It was the the second educational institution in Singapore to teach networking after Temasek Polytechnic. 26 Secondary Two students with a minimum grade of B3 in Mathematics as well as eight other students from four nearby schools – East View, St Hilda’s, Springfield and Dunman Secondary schools – were selected for this two-year course. The students spent two hours every Saturday afternoon in Greenview Secondary’s capacious Rainforest Computer Lab where 43 computers arranged in clusters were surrounded by murals of trees and animals of rainforests.

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Greenview Secondary will merge with Loyang Secondary School in 2018 and the merged school will be located at the latter’s site.

Source: [1] [2] [3]

* * *

*phew* It’s really not easy compiling information on tens of schools in a small space like this, but I’m glad I’ve managed to do it! You might have noticed some beautifully-taken pictures from “My School Uniform“. If you don’t already know, My School Uniform is the first-ever photography project that documents all the secondary school uniforms in Singapore. If you’d like to find out more about the book (which is already out in major bookstores), you can read my review here.

Once again, thanks for the read and hope you enjoyed this instalment of my Closed and Merged Schools series!

Have a story to share about your decommissioned school? Let me know in the comments below so that I can include them in my next write-up! To report errors, please leave a comment below as well. If you have pictures that are not featured in this post (preferably of the school building, uniform, or anything that best represents the school), please share them with me via e-mail at askme@fionaseah.com.
Much appreciated!

Main source:
National Archives of Singapore
NewspaperSG (National Library Board)
Factiva (for news articles after 1990)
Chinese Schools Exhibition
My School Uniform
Facebook Pages of Schools

(In case some of these links become inaccessible, you may retrieve them through Archives.org)

Read also:
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 1)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 2)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 3)

HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore

(WARNING: Image-heavy post! Best viewed on desktop or with Wi-Fi)

Hey guys!

Long time no update. I was actually working on this blog post about something which has been piquing my interest for some time now. It has got nothing to do with beauty nor lifestyle. It’s about… *drum roll* SCHOOLS!! It took me THREE weeks, but no complaints really, as I enjoyed uncovering the history of these schools. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!

My School Uniform – the first-ever photography project that documents all the school uniforms in Singapore.

Photo book out in stores now! Read review here

Well, what prompted me to do this 6200-word entry?! It was reported on the news four months ago that six schools here will be merged into three next year and that sparked my curiosity about other schools that fell victim to declining enrolment. Yup, school closure is still happening here despite complaints about not having enough schools. Ironic, isn’t it?

Schools facing low enrolment in the past were usually ordered to close. However Ministry of Education (MOE) had decided since 2002 to merge these schools instead to “form a good size school”. This is good news to pioneer schools as they are still able to preserve their history after the merge unlike those unpopular ones before 2002, whose name and history are now only remembered by their alumni. If you are an alumnus of any of the absorbed schools, your child is still eligible to be registered in the merged school under phase 2A(2). However, if your school has been closed for good, you’d have to join the back of the queue again.

Reports showed that falling enrolment is a result of declining birth rate, but I beg to differ. Although it does play a part in the dwindling registration, it is definitely not the main cause. Schools that receive lower number of applications are usually located in more mature estates with no area for further housing development (new flats) thus lowering the number of new young families in that area. Above all, one can still see popular schools receiving more applications than its number of vacancies every year so low birth rate is certainly not the main culprit.

Unpopular schools are issued with marching orders owing to Singaporeans’ choosy nature (can’t deny that I’d rather send my kids to a well-known school too) and it’s sad to see the place where you spent 6 years of your childhood at gone with the wind. Thus I’d like to pay tribute to these unsung pioneer schools by listing them below. Do note that the list is not exhaustive and I welcome any addition in the comments below 🙂

Psst, you may even find your parents’ schools here! My Dad and Mom were from Outram Primary and Alexandra Estate Primary respectively. Both were closed to make way for new developments.

Check out PART 2, PART 3 and PART 4 if you haven’t!

In no particular order…

Alexandra Estate Primary School (Bukit Merah)

Closed in 1987

Established in 1954, it is known to be located beside Crescent Girls School previously. Female students put on their red pinafore dress with white inner blouse while the boys wore white collared top with red shorts to school. Crescent Girls School currently sits on its site. Some of its notable alumni include our Prime Minister’s wife, Ho Ching, as well as her siblings.

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Taken on the final day of AEPS

Taken on the final day of AEPS

P6C Class of 1987

P6C Class of 1987

A new school named Alexandra Primary School (ALPS) was recently built in the vicinity of where AEPS used to be and it started operations this year. It is highly plausible that its name was derived from there as ALPS is seen sharing the history of AEPS on its Facebook page. However, as ALPS is not a direct amalgamation of AEPS and other schools, parents cannot enroll their children in that school under Phase 2A(2).

Source: [1]


Jervois East Primary School
Jervois West Primary School (Bukit Merah)

Merged in 1986 to form Jervois Primary School
Closed in 1989

After Alexandra Estate Primary closed, their students were given a choice to transfer to the either the newly merged Jervois Primary or Keng Seng Primary in 1987. When Jervois Primary was closed in 1989, most of the students joined Keng Seng Primary.

Apart from knowing that they were all very near to AEPS, I can’t really find much information about these schools but it was mentioned somewhere on the net that the site of Jervois Primary is currently used by a halfway house.

Their Facebook page (to reconnect alumni) aren’t very active either so there’s absolutely no other ways to check.

(Thanks Neko Lim for the added information)

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Membina Primary School (Tiong Bahru)

Closed in 1996

Established in 1975, the 113th school built by the government was situated at the junction of Jalan Membina and Jalan Bukit Merah. It was the first school of the contemporary design built under the Education Ministry’s School Building Programme and had 1817 pupils at time of opening.

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membinapri-jemay-ng

 

Membina Primary took in students from Tiong Bahru Primary when the latter closed down. However Membina Primary aged with the estate and lost its appeal.

Other schools scheduled to close in 1996 were Elling, Jubilee, Keppel and MacRitchie Primary. (Will cover these schools in my next history post)

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Tiong Bahru Primary School (Tiong Bahru)

Closed in 1990

With its history dated as far back as 1930, this school came a very long way. Previously known as Kaimin Public School and Jiemin Primary School (a merged school between Quan Min Primary and Jie Gu School after the Bukit Ho Swee fire but the latter resurrected in 1985 at Yishun), it was described by Colonel Tan Peng Ann as an L-shaped building, with only a single storey on one side for the administrative office and two storeys on the other for classrooms. As not many people drove then, there wasn’t any major carpark but there was a large school field for recreational purposes.

Edit: a reader (Lee Keng Hua) had argued that the school was in fact shaped like a metal staple with a 2-storey admin block before 1980. The canteen was at the end of the school building, opposite the admin block. Are there any ex-students who can confirm this? Pictures of the school are greatly appreciated!

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Its current site is now occupied by a power station.

Psst.. sidetrack a bit, did you know Tiong Bahru means “New Cemetery” (tiong – Chinese for cemetery, bahru – Malay for new) because it was an area dotted with many cemeteries until the 1920s? How many of you actually thought it’s named Tiong Bahru because the area was populated with a lot of Chinese (“Ah Tiong”)? 😛

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Bukit Ho Swee Secondary School
Tiong Bahru Secondary School (Tiong Bahru)

Merged in 1991 to form Delta Secondary School
Merged into Bukit Merah Secondary School in 2004

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary was officially opened in 1967 at the corner of Lower Delta Road and Jalan Bukit Ho Swee while Tiong Bahru Secondary, located beside Lower Delta Road (in front of the present Tiong Bahru Plaza) was established in 1966. Both were the most popular secondary schools in the neighbourhood.

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary opening in 1967

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary opening in 1967

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary opening in 1967 -gmynastic performance

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary opening in 1967 – gymnastic performance

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary - before and now

Bukit Ho Swee Secondary – before and now. The “structure” of the Bukit Ho Swee Secondary School building can still be seen.

Students at "O" Level results collection in 1980

Tiong Bahru Sec Students at “O” Level results collection in 1980

Tiong Bahru Secondary was also where my wilful Mom studied for 2 years before she decided to drop out.

The first merger proved ineffective as enrolment didn’t pick up, probably due to the aging population in the estate and more young families were moving out to new towns. Delta had to merge (again) with Bukit Merah Secondary in 2004.

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Delta Secondary School in 2000

The newly merged school is now functioning at the newly built Bukit Merah Secondary School site at Lengkok Bahru. Ex-pupils of Delta Secondary may wish to reconnect with their schoolmates here (restricted access).

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Tanglin Technical School (Tanglin Halt/Commonwealth)

Used to be Tanglin Integrated Secondary Technical School until 1969
Renamed to Tanglin Secondary School in 1993
To merge with Clementi Woods Secondary in 2016
(updated 26/7/2014)

Technical studies were very sought after during the 1960s which prompted the government to set up 2 main technical schools then (the other being Queenstown Technical – now Queenstown Secondary). The purpose of such schools was to educate students and prepare them for engineering and technical working sectors (industrialisation).

tanglintech_timothy-lee

I’ve chosen to feature Tanglin Tech, even though it still exists today, because it’s one of the pioneer technical schools that molded education in the present future. And most importantly, my Dad had his secondary education there.

The school started out as an all-boys school where medium of instructions was Chinese. Then it started admitting female students to its technical courses after the first renaming exercise. 50 years later, it is no longer at Tanglin Halt, but at West Coast Road.

Unfortunately, I spoke too soon. It was reported in the news on Saturday (26/7/2014) that the school will be merging with Clementi Woods Secondary School due to falling enrolment but it will still be operating on the former’s current site. Ex-students of the 50-year-old school are hoping for the merged school to be Tanglin’s namesake. To join the rally, click here. The newly merged school will be Tanglin’s namesake.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Tanglin Girls’ School
Kay Siang Primary School (Queenstown)

Merged in 1985 to form Xianglin Primary School

Established in 1957, Tanglin Girls’ was a four-storey high building on top of a slope (was it a trend in the past to place schools on higher altitude? Haha) and was also considered as one of the better schools in Singapore. Students wore white blouse and dark blue pinafore.

Ex-students of Kay Siang spoke briefly of the school being formerly known as Tanglin Boys’ School but in actual fact, Kay Siang and Tanglin Boys’ started out as two separate schools. The 3-storey Tanglin Boys’ School probably merged with Kay Siang along the way and became co-ed.

The first batch of students in Tanglin Girls’ and Boys’ were mostly from Bukit Merah South, Bukit Merah North and Redhill Schools. These three schools also have their own history documented below. Other than this, nothing much can be found about Tanglin and Kay Siang.

tanglingirls_chee-fong-bay

Class 4C of 1976

Class 4C of 1976

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Xianglin Primary School (Queenstown)

Merged with Belvedere School in 1987

The amalgamation between Tanglin Girls’ and Kay Siang Primary proved to be ineffective as the merged school still couldn’t sustain past 2 years. Probably due to dipping enrolment, it was subsequently merged with Belvedere School which was just a road away.


Belvedere School (Bukit Merah)

Closed in December 1990

belvedere1_fb belvedere2_fb belvedere4_fb

The school had a very unique location, at the top of a hill above Crescent Girls’ School. Singapore Poly started in borrowed premises at three sites, one of which was Belvedere School. The school complex was eventually demolished with all the schools under its wings erased from the national school directory forever.

Notable alumni includes Pritam Singh, a Member of Parliament from the Workers’ Party.

Source: [1] [2]


Pearl Park Primary School
Pearl’s Hill School (Outram)

Merged in 1995

Both schools have a history so rich that they have their own article on Singapore Infopedia.

Pearl’s Hill School was established in 1881 and underwent several name change and relocation before settling on its final one in 1914 and 1972 respectively. Initially located at Cross Street, it was among the first batch of government English elementary schools established by the British colonial government. It was affiliated to Outram Road School (later known as Outram Secondary) and students who had finished their Standard One education (PSLE in the olden days) would be posted there. It was finally homed in a 12-storey building on the slopes of Pearl’s Hill at Chin Swee Road, making it the tallest school building ever built in Singapore.

pearlshill_chan-chee-peng

Pearl’s Hill School. I believe it’s the canteen. Oh brings back so much memories about my school too :’)

pearlshill_chan-chee-peng2

I don’t know much about Pearl Park unfortunately, but I do know that the principal (Mr Ang Koon Tin) is actually the father of Daniel from danielfooddiary.com. 🙂

The new Pearl’s Hill School ceased operations in December 2001 due to dwindling enrolment. Hotel Re! presently occupies the building.

Source: [1] [2]


Outram Primary School (Outram Park)

Closed in 1984

Located near Pearl Hill Terrace, it was closed to make way for the construction of Outram Park MRT station. Students and staff from Outram Primary went to Zhangde Primary School (next to Singapore General Hospital) when the school ceased to function.

outrampri_kevinkeong_6Aof1982 outrampri_gatchaman-ken-washio

I’m not sure if this is considered as a merge but it could be, since Outram Primary is mentioned on Zhangde Primary’s history.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Alexandra Hill Primary School
Bukit Ho Swee Primary School
Henderson Primary School
Keng Seng Primary School (Bukit Merah)

Merged in 2002 to form Gan Eng Seng Primary School

This happened quite recently but it still deserves a mention because they had been around for a long time, at least for Alexandra Hill. Even though its year of establishment isn’t stated anywhere on the net, I reckon that it existed since the 1960s as Dr Amy Khor (Member of Parliament for Hong Kah North) was a student there from 1964 to 1969.

alexhill_bryanfang

Alexandra Hill Primary School

alexhill_mohamed-hanafie_p5Aof1987

Alexandra Hill Primary School – class P5A of 1987

Bukit Ho Swee, on the other hand, was actually a merged school between Bukit Ho Swee East School (English-medium) and Bukit Ho Swee West School (Chinese-medium) formed in January 1986. Prior to the merger, East’s uniform was white and brown while West’s was light blue. Both schools shared a common tuck shop but had two assembly grounds. After they were combined, only Bukit Ho Swee East Primary’s building was utilised. The image of the dilapidated premise is still fresh in my mind because my Dad had to drive past it after visiting my grandparents at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee during my younger days to get home. I kinda foresaw the closure of that godforsaken place. Singapore Exam and Assessment Board had since taken over its site.

Keng Seng Primary seems to get the most limelight from the merger as it even got its own book. Like Bukit Ho Swee, it was also an amalgamation of many schools – three, in fact – namely Keng Seng School, Strathmore Primary School and Friendly Hill Primary School in 1980. You can pretty much tell from here that Keng Seng Primary is an old school.

Keng Seng School came into existence in 1939 through donations from farmers who were supportive of education. These were pig farmers who lived around the area, hence pig faeces along the way school were a common sight for students in those days. Occasionally, the pigs would also break into the classrooms!

However, preference for English education grew by the mid 1970s, leading to the decline of Keng Seng’s popularity among parents. Keng Seng was down to less than 300 students by then and hence had to merge with two other schools. Although the name “Keng Seng” was retained after the merger, it had to take on Friendly Hill’s school crest and Strathmore’s school song. The amalgamated school relocated to Alexandra Road.

More information about the parents schools (Friendly Hill and Strathmore) can be found in part 3.

kengseng_tan-chuan-shin_p6Aof1987

Keng Seng Primary School – class P6A of 1987

As for Henderson Primary, it closed without a trace so I can’t really find any information about it. No one, even its ex-students, documented on its history before the merger? What a waste.

Henderson Primary

Henderson Primary

Henderson Primary

Henderson Primary

Gan Eng Seng Primary is presently located at the former site of Alexandra Hill Primary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Redhill School
Bukit Merah North School
Bukit Merah South School (Redhill)

Merged in 1986 to form Bukit Merah Primary School

Redhill Primary School - class P5A of 1979

Redhill Primary School – class P5A of 1979

redhillpri_josephinechua

bukitmerahnorth_FB

bukitmerahsouth_sarinetan

Bukit Merah South School

bukitmerahsouth_shaminahmad

These three schools were adjacent to one another and they shared a big field where cows and other animals roamed. Bukit Merah North School was founded on 10 January 1955, conducting classes at Crescent Girls’ School and then at Delta East School (defunct as well). It only shifted to its latest location at Redhill Close in September 1956. The other 2 schools, I believe, were also there since early 1950s.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Bukit Merah Primary School (Redhill)

Merged into Alexandra Hill Primary School in 1998

bukitmerahpri_joyceyeow

The ancient OHP projector that we all missed.

Class P5 of 1995

Class P5 of 1995

Bukit Merah Primary School shut its doors 12 years later due to falling enrolment and was subsequently merged with Alexandra Hill Primary School. The newly merged school was then shifted to Telok Blangah a year later and the old site was revamped to the current Gan Eng Seng Primary School. Gan Eng Seng School now sits on a smaller piece of land space, as some land area was cut off to Bukit Merah Secondary School.

(Thanks ‘cornflict’ for the added information)

Did you know? F4’s Ken Chu attended Bukit Merah Primary School during his 8-year stay in Singapore.

Source: [1]


Silat Primary School (Bukit Merah)

Closed in 1992

This school is a result of the merger of two primary schools in 1984 – Silat I Primary and Silat II Primary.

The six-storey white building was at Silat Road in old times. That stretch of road where the school once stood is now renamed to Bukit Merah Road. The school field was also reduced by almost a third to make way for the road that now runs in front of it. Judging from the photographs taken by ex-students (as recent as 2013) who went back to explore, the abandoned building was probably still standing on the same ground not too long ago. But Street View shows something else when I tried to look it up so it could already be gone by now.

silatpri2_christina_superrandomworld.wp

silatpri_christina_superrandomworld.wp

silatpri3_fuzz-lee_1991

The school was closed (last batch was in 1991) following a declining enrolment rate and its students joined Zhangde Primary, which is still existent today.

(Thanks Ginny for the additional input!)

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Sennett Estate School (MacPherson)

Closed in end 1999

Local actress Fann Wong was there from 1978 to 1983 before it was merged with Kwong Avenue School and renamed to Sennett Primary. After not offering primary one places for two years due to low demand, the school was closed in 1999 and students were transferred to nearby Cedar Primary School.

sennettestate_kim-song

At the same time, Jagoh Primary was also earmarked to close due to low enrolment. Its students were transferred to Blangah Rise Primary School.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Rangoon Road Primary School (Farrer Park)

Closed in the early 1980s

The school was established in 1968 when the staff and former students of McNair School moved to its premise. It’s a pity that the school is no-more as it churned out quite a number of ministers and influential people such as Devan Nair (third President of Singapore), S. Dhanabalan (former chairman of Temasek Holdings), S. Jayakumar (Senior Minister) and Wong Kan Seng (former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs). I’m pretty sure it’d be one of the most sought-after schools today if it still exists (but of course it needs a name change first…)

Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society presently sits on the former site of Rangoon Road Primary.

Source: [1]


Towner Primary School (Bendemeer)

Closed in 1998 (verification needed)

This school was form by merging two schools – Whampoe School (est. 1950) and Towner School in 1984 – and catered mainly to the population in the immediate vicinity of the school. However, it was demolished to make way for HDB flats and students moved over to May Primary School.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


May Primary School (Boon Keng)

Merged with Boon Keng Primary in 2002 to form Farrer Park Primary

This school was an amalgamation between May South (blue uniform) and May North (green uniform) Primary School and students in the newly established school wore blue and green uniform. When Cambridge Primary shut its doors in December 1998, its remaining students were also absorbed by May Primary. However the school was later vacated and renamed May Adventure Camp. Its park nearby was also converted into an expressway.

maypri3_miboy_lomotion.fr.yuku maypri1_miboy_lomotion.fr.yuku maypri2_miboy_lomotion.fr.yuku

Yam Ah Mee (think General Elections) was from May North Primary School.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Serangoon Garden North School (Serangoon)

Merged with Serangoon Garden South in 1988

Established in 1956, the school moved into its own premises at 49, Kensington Park Road. Students there used to fight (playfully) with those from Serangoon Garden South when they crossed the centre-line of the field into their territory. However, the latter was later proved to be victorious when it took over Serangoon Garden North to form to new Serangoon Garden South School (probably because it was established a year earlier).

serangoongardennorth_FB4 serangoongardennorth_the-creative-commentor serangoongardennorth_FB serangoongardennorth_FB2 serangoongardennorth_FB3

But that victory was short-lived as in January 2007, the school was merged with Zhonghua Primary School and is now located at Serangoon Ave 4.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Mattar East School (MacPherson)

Merged with Mattar Primary in 1988
Subsequently closed (year unknown)

Founded in 1963, the school was loosely associated to the police force for having a homophonic name to “mata-mata” (Malay for “Police”). Luckily for them, they had a neighbour with a similar name (Mattar Primary) and a minister named Ahmad Mattar which cushioned the teasing.

Mattar Primary

Mattar Primary

Mattar Primary

Mattar Primary

They had a very big field shared with Mattar Primary and Aljunied Primary. With 3 schools in close proximity vying for students in the fast-maturing estate, it’s no wonder none of them lived til this day. Ex-students of Mattar Primary School (merged with Mattar East) said that the school was later absorbed by MacPherson Primary but this absorption is not stated anywhere on the latter’s history.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Aljunied Primary School (MacPherson)

Closed in 1997

Rumour has it that the school was built to accommodate the dragon babies born in 1964. In other words, the school started in 1971 (officially opened in 1972) when most schools in Singapore were full. A relatively new school in that era, it had “no past successes to look back upon” as I quote the then-parliament secretary to the minister for education. 26 years went by and the school didn’t seem to gain any recognition but it did churn out a few well-known figures such as local actress Jacelyn Tay (郑秀珍), who was a vice-head prefect of the school.

aljuniedpri_FB

It was absorbed by MacPherson Primary (currently at Aljunied Primary’s site) upon its closure.

(Thanks Gurmit for confirming the school’s history)

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Chong Shan Primary School (Ang Mo Kio)

Merged with Townsville Primary in 2001

Chong Shan started functioning in 1982 and was in fact the 180th school built by the Singapore government. It had a joint official opening with Chong De Primary in 1984.

chongshanpri_lim-wei-chern-jocelyn

chongshanpri_lim-wei-chern-jocelyn1

chongshanpri_lim-wei-chern-jocelyn3

chongshanpri_lim-wei-chern-jocelyn2

Chong De Primary’s students were transferred to Chong Shan when it closed in 1998. More details about Chong De can be found in part 2.

(Special thanks to Lim Wei Chern Jocelyn for her contribution)

Source: [1]


Ang Mo Kio North Primary School
Li Hua Primary School
Hong Dao Primary School (Ang Mo Kio)

Merged in 2000 to form Anderson Primary School

Ang Mo Kio North was established in 1981 and Hong Dao Primary in 1982. Li Hua Primary had a longer history as it originated as a rural school in the fifties, formerly known as Lee Hua Chinese School at Yio Chu Kang Road. Students used to wear all-white before the attire changed to white and blue.

angmokionorthpri_patrick-ang

Ang Mo Kio North Primary

angmokionorthpri_danny-chaly

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary in 1971

Li Hua Primary in 1971

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary

Li Hua Primary

Ang Mo Kio North and Li Hua primary schools shared a field with Presbyterian High School before it moved to a bigger space.

Hong Dao Primary

Hong Dao Primary

Hong Dao Primary

Hong Dao Primary

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Sembawang Hills Estate School (Upper Thomson)

Closed in 1992

The school overlooked the forest reserve by Casuarina Road and students wore white blouse/shirt and brown skirt/shorts. Many ex-students recalled having a prata stall (now known as Casuarina Curry Restaurant) conveniently across the street.

sembawangestate_sharad-haridas

It garnered media attention in 1968 during the Gene Koh murder trial as the mentioned’s decaying body was found by one of the school’s stallholders when he went to relieve himself in the forest at night.

In 1992, the school was closed to make way for private housing development.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Seraya Primary School (Katong)

Merged with Fowlie School in 1986

Seraya Primary and Fowlie School were like sister schools to each other for they shared the same field back then before both schools were merged to form Fowlie Primary. Both schools were also opposite each other and very often, students from Seraya would go over to Fowlie’s canteen to eat.

Seraya Primary school band

Seraya Primary school band

serayapri_FB serayapri_FB2

Other schools in the vicinity were St Hilda’s, Tong Cai, Haig Boys’ and Girls’ School.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Fowlie Primary School
Mountbatten Primary School
Haig Boys’ School (Mountbatten)

Merged in 2001 to form Tanjong Katong Primary School

For a brief history of Fowlie, refer to Seraya Primary.

Unfortunately I’m unable to obtain any details of Mountbatten Primary but if you’re an ex-student, you may consider joining this members-only Facebook group here. Please feel free to provide me with the history of Mountbatten Primary if you’re familiar with the school.

Haig Boys’, on the other hand, isn’t as mysterious as its other counterparts. Founded in 1951, it was named after Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, British Commander-in-Chief during the Battle of the Somme. Its original location was at Haig Road in Katong but was later relocated to Mountbatten Road.

Haig Boys' school staff in 1968

Haig Boys’ school staff in 1968

Haig Boys'

Haig Boys’

Haig Boys' badminton team in 1968

Haig Boys’ badminton team in 1968

Today, Tanjong Katong Primary is a popular school with the expatriate community in Singapore with about 40% of its students coming from 30 over countries. Some parents even started queuing as early as 3 days before the opening of Phase 3 registration to vie for a spot in the school. Judging from its popularity, this school is definitely going to be around for a long time and this is certainly good news to Fowlie’s alumni, whose alma mater had merged twice in its history.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Guillemard East Primary School (Kallang)

Closed in 1987

Known to be located behind Singapore Badminton Hall, its remaining students were taken in by Guillemard Primary (previously known as Guillemard Road English School but merged with Guillemard West Primary in 1984) upon closure. However, Guillemard Primary also suffered from the same fate some years later.

guillemardeastpri_FB3 guillemardeastpri_FB2 guillemardeastpri_FB guillemardeastpri_tom-wu_born1969

While we’re at it, allow me to also give a special mention to affiliated schools like Kallang Primary (previously known as Kallang Integrated Primary School, closed in 1987) and Guillemard West Primary in the region. Sadly, none of these schools exists today.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Bedok Girls’ School
Bedok Boys’ School
Bedok Primary School (Bedok)

Merged in 1986 to form Bedok Primary School
Closed in 1998

Bedok Girls’ and Bedok Boys’ were built in 1952 and located along Bedok Road in the middle of a ridge. Each of them is a single-storey building with 14 classrooms. They shared a field and a canteen which was on top a flight of stairs. Students who attended both schools live in villages in that area.

Bedok Girls' - class P4A of 1975

Bedok Girls’ – class P4A of 1975

Bedok Girls' - class P6 of 1987

Bedok Girls’ – class P6 of 1987

Bedok Boys'

Bedok Boys’

Bedok Girls'

Bedok Girls’

Bedok Primary, on the other hand, was founded in the early 1960s. However due to its falling enrolment, all 3 schools mentioned were merged to form a new co-ed school. Bedok Primary has quite a number of famous alumni though, such as Vikram Nair (MP from PAP) and Clarence Lee, a renowned professional make-up artist, just to name a few.

Bedok Primary farewell ceremony

Bedok Primary farewell ceremony

Bedok Primary

Bedok Primary

Bedok Primary

Bedok Primary

Bedok Primary class P6N1 of 1989

Bedok Primary class P6N1 of 1989

Bedok Primary

Bedok Primary

The new Bedok Primary closed in 1998 and students were transferred to Bedok View Primary (which ceased operation and students moved over to Bedok South, which became Bedok Green in the end). In 2003, Bedok South Secondary School took over its former site.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


Braddell Primary School
Westlake Primary School
San Shan Primary School (Toa Payoh)

Merged in 2002 with First Toa Payoh Primary to form the last

Braddell Primary started in 1976 and was also used by Mensa for its initial admission test sessions. It gained media attention when one of its student, seven-year-old Wong Chong Kum, was kidnapped by a man and a woman in January 1985 at the school (see source 4-6) who sought a random of S$30,000. All principals had to undergo an anti-kidnap briefing because of this.

Braddell Primary

Braddell Primary

Braddell Primary

Braddell Primary

Braddell Primary canteen

Braddell Primary. Not sure where this is but it looks like an assembly hall

Braddell Primary in the midst of tearing down in 2011

Braddell Primary in the midst of tearing down in 2011

The school building was demolished in 2011, about 9 years after the merge for Marymount Centre, which shifted from Thomson Road due to the construction of the North-South Expressway.

westlakepri_Kevin-Soh_double-image.bs_lastday

Westlake Primary canteen

Westlake Primary canteen

Westlake Primary

Westlake Primary

Westlake Primary mural

Westlake Primary mural

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Westlake Primary had its first batch in 1977 and used to be surrounded by 2 neighbouring schools – Westlake Secondary and Braddell Secondary (read below). The premises of Westlake Primary and Secondary were used to film the 2002 movie “I Not Stupid”. There is also a mosaic mural in Westlake Primary that depicts the Singapore of the mid-1970s and the early 1980s (see picture below) and it’s probably still there.

sanshanpri_Christine-Zeng-10thannisouvenirmag

San Shan School, established in 1929, used to be a Chinese-medium school at Sophia Road but was relocated to Toa Payoh and renamed to San Shan Primary in 1982. The old building, still around today, used to be a holding site for Methodist Girls’ School for a short period and one of NAFA’s campuses. The new school building at Toa Payoh had already been torn down for Beatty Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]


Braddell Secondary School
Westlake Secondary School (Braddell)

Merged in 2000 to form Braddell-Westlake Secondary School
Closed in 2005

Braddell and Westlake Secondary were founded in 1981 and 1978 respectively.

braddellwestlakesec_tan-guo-sheng2

Westlake Secondary

Westlake Secondary

Braddell Secondary

Braddell Secondary

Braddell-Westlake Secondary

Braddell-Westlake Secondary

Westlake Secondary

Westlake Secondary

Braddell-Westlake Secondary

Braddell-Westlake Secondary

In order to boost falling enrolment, both schools were merged but their premises were retained and utilised, thus making them known for being one of the few secondary schools to occupy two separate campuses. Its enrolment continued to decline, leading to its official closure in 2005 and remaining students and staff were transferred to Guangyang Secondary School. Since 2012, the area has been earmarked for the shift of Raffles Girls’ Secondary.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Swiss Cottage Primary School (Dunearn)
Moulmein Primary School (Balestier)

Merged in 2002 to form Balestier Hill Primary School

To combine two schools that were quite distant from each other.. this was certainly a very unusual merge. If you ask me, it seemed like an attempt to rid the less-popular Swiss Cottage from the plot of land populated by famous schools such as SCGS, Raffles Girls’ Primary and ACS Primary.. but of course, that’s just my opinion. MOE has a reason for everything they do, right?

swisscottagepri_pbase

Swiss Cottage Primary was, no doubt, a school which lacked publicity. Before my “research” for the purpose of this entry, I had never heard of this school despite its presence since the 1960s. Swiss Cottage SECONDARY yes, but not the primary version of it (which could be because Bukit Batok was my place of residence for 23 years and everyone there knows that Swiss Cottage Sec is the best secondary school in the neighbourhood). The school’s last enrolment was 710, paling in comparison with Moulmein Primary’s 1030 in 2001, which was one of the factors that led to the cessation of the school in name.

moulmeinpri_lu-yucai2

Moulmein Primary

moulmeinpri_heng-seng moulmeinpri_lu-yucai

I knew about Moulmein Primary though, thanks to the TV drama “Moulmein High” on Channel 5 in the early 2000s. Trivia aside, Moulmein Primary was formed by the merger of Griffiths School when it first closed (Now Griffiths Primary School) and Balestier Girls’ School in 1983. Subsequently, it also absorbed Kim Keat Primary.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Bukit Batok East Primary School
Bukit Batok West Primary School (Jalan Jurong Kechil)

Merged in 1984 to form Bukit Timah Primary School

Bukit Batok East Primary

Bukit Batok East Primary

The unified school was actually called Bukit Batok Primary School before it changed to its current name. That’s an appropriate change as I don’t recall seeing the school at all in Bukit Batok. The principal (Mr Lim/Lee – ex-students, please verify!) then was a skinny man with black frame glasses and white hair who portrayed a rather regimental look. (Quoted from Kian Wee in the comments)

Bukit Batok East was probably founded in 1955 (reference from some MOE correspondence sheet with restricted access) but I’m clueless about the history of Bukit Batok West (not very popular I guess) except for the fact that the land is now occupied by German European School.

Source: [1] [2]


Clementi North Primary School
Clementi Town Primary School (Clementi)

Merged in 2001 to form Clementi Primary School

A Clementi North Primary student

A Clementi North Primary student

Clementi North Primary and Clementi Town Primary were established in 1980. Probably due to competition from neighbouring schools such as Nan Hua Primary and Pei Tong Primary, they saw their enrolment dwindling and were eventually made to merge.

Clementi Town Primary - primary 1 students in 1982

Clementi Town Primary – primary 1 students in 1982

To accommodate the expansion from the merge, a new school building was built on the former site of Clementi Town Primary School. While the construction took place, students from both schools occupied Clementi North Primary premises.

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Ghim Moh Primary School (Commonwealth)

Merged with New Town Primary School in 2008 to form the latter

The school was founded in 1977 and used to be at Queenstown area. The site of Ghim Moh Primary has now been converted to Singapore Chinese Language Centre.

ghimmohpri_darren-foo-mow-chien ghimmohpri_du-yue-sheng ghimmohpri_Lim-chon-kah

Source: [1] [2] [3]


Ghim Moh Secondary School
Jin Tai Secondary School (Ghim Moh)

Merged in 2007 to form Clementi Woods Secondary School

Ghim Moh Sec - alumni (of batch 1986) gathering

Ghim Moh Secondary – alumni (of batch 1986) gathering

Ghim Moh Secondary, formerly known as Alexandra English Elementary School at Portsdown Road, started in 1976 with only 8 classes of students – 6 class of boys and 2 of girls. The first batch of students had no tuckshop (otherwise known as canteen today). The school was relocated to Ghim Moh estate a year later. (History of Ghim Moh Secondary quoted from Tan Helward)

Jin Tai Secondary achievement

Jin Tai Secondary achievement

Jin Tai Secondary was established in 1982 and judging from the pictures posted by ex-student on the Facebook group, I can say that the school was adept at sports especially soccer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t widely known for its achievements but instead for an infamous incident in 1999 where a mock attack was staged as part of a Total Defence Day exercise. The mock attack, conducted by eight student-officers aged between 16 and 18 in the National Cadet Corps (NCC) to simulate the Japanese Occupation of Singapore and teach students the importance of psychological defence, turned real and fourteen students had to be treated for injuries with 3 warded (source 4).

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Jin Tai Primary School (West Coast)

Merged with Qifa Primary in 2008 to form the latter

Jin Tai was officially opened 1984 and like Jin Tai Secondary, it appeared on the news many times for its outstanding achievement in sports. However both remarkable schools bearing the same name are no longer existent. It was the second school absorbed by Qifa Primary – first was Jubilee Primary when it ceased operations in 1996.

Jin Tai was also involved in the high profile 2004 murder case of eight-year-old Huang Na as the deceased was enrolled in that school. Sidetrack a bit, oh gosh.. if Huang Na is still alive, she’d be 18 today can you believe it!?

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Yung An Primary School
Merlimau Primary School
Jurong Town Primary School (Jurong West)

Merged in 2003 to form Lakeside Primary School

Yung An, Merlimau and Jurong Town started functioning in 1977, 1966, 1968 respectively. These were the first few schools in Taman Jurong for the early settlers in that estate.

The first-mentioned was originally at Yuan Ching Road and before the school building was ready for occupation, students were housed in Boon Lay Garden Primary.

Merlimau was initially a Malay school named Pulau Merlimau Primary from Jurong Island. It was renamed to Merlimau Primary when it shifted to Taman Jurong and had an alumnus who was awarded the most coveted President’s scholarship in 1999.

Merlimau Primary in 1989

Merlimau Primary in 1989

Merlimau Primary

Merlimau Primary

Merlimau Primary in 1988

Merlimau Primary in 1988

Before the merge, Yuan Ching Secondary, Yung An Primary and Merlimau Primary shared the same football field but now it has become Yuan Ching Secondary’s property… so are both neighbouring primary school buildings.

Jurong Town Primary in 1986

Jurong Town Primary in 1986

Jurong Town Primary in 1986

Jurong Town Primary in 1986

Jurong Town Primary

Jurong Town Primary

Jurong Town was a pretty popular school when it first started due to the lack of schools in the area. The demand was so great that they had to borrow classrooms from nearby secondary schools to accommodate the large number of students. However as more schools were built and completed, the demand waned.

As of today, there are about 13 primary schools just in Boon Lay estate alone, some equipped with newer and better facilities. Thus it isn’t surprising to see the pioneering schools in Jurong losing out in competitive advantage.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]


Outram Institute (Bartley)
Jurong Institute (Jurong West)

Merged in 2004 to form Millenia Institute

They were two of the “four original centralised institutes (CI) in Singapore and one of the pre-university centres in Singapore that offers a three-year curriculum leading to the Singapore Cambridge (UCLES) General Certificate of Education Advanced Level examination” (Wikipedia). Due to dipping enrolment, they were merged to form the nation’s only centralised institute, Millenia Institute, at Bukit Batok.

Source: [1] [2]


Seletar Institute (Thomson)
Townsville Institute (Queenstown)

Closed in 1997 and 1995 respectively

Seletar Institute started in 1988 at the old campus of Upper Thomson Secondary School (now known as North View Secondary). Similarly, Townsville was also in the same year. Like the two institutes mentioned above, they offered a three-year pre-university programme based on the students’ O-level L1R4. However they weren’t as lucky as they were closed down altogether.

According to reader Adam, local host/actor Bryan Wong is an alumnus of Townsville Institute.

Seletar Institute has a very detailed write-up (more comprehensive than the others in fact) on its history on Wikipedia and here’s one part which got me snickering:

Due to the “Kampung spirit” and small cohort, many of the students ended up in a relationship with no less than 10 couples in a student population with less than 200. The school leadership force a reshuffling of the students to ensure that those in a relationship do not end up in the same class in Year Two.

– Wikipedia (Seletar Institute)

Source: [1] [2]

Due to time constraint and the impossibility to cover every single closed/merged schools in Singapore, I’ll briefly mention some of those not discussed in detail here: Bedok Town Primary, Dorset Primary (Farrer Park), Yuqun Primary, Pandan Primary (Teban Gardens), Jalan Kayu Primary, Kebun Baru Primary (Ang Mo Kio), Tanjong Rhu Boys’ School and Tanjong Rhu Girls’ School (both merged to form the now-defunct Tanjong Rhu Primary School), Chong Boon Primary and the list goes on.. and on.. and on.

I’ll do a follow-up if time permits, probably in my next long break. Haha. PART 2 here!

And joining the list with effect from next year will be..

Qiaonan Primary School
Griffiths Primary School (Tampines)

To merge in 2015 to form Angsana Primary School

I’m shocked at the closure of Qiaonan as it’s inarguably one of the oldest schools in Singapore to have been around for 81 years. I guess it’s just not popular enough in terms of academics despite its long history. To prove this point, the school only received 30 registration out of its possible maximum intake of 120 in last year

Qiaonan Primary

Qiaonan Primary

Founded by Wenzou Clan Association in 1933, it was known as Kiau Nam School and classes then were conducted in rental units in the now-defunct Lorong Koo Chye. 7 years later, students were schooled in a donated house (by the school director of school board) at Paya Lebar Road. Then came World War II, which saw the school closed during the mayhem until it was over. During the war, the school principal and a handful of teachers stood their ground and did not flee, hence were all executed. In the late 1950s, classes were also conducted in a Chinese temple to accommodate the growing numbers.

Qiaonan Primary

Qiaonan Primary

Qiaonan Primary

Qiaonan Primary

Qiaonan Primary school uniform

Qiaonan Primary school uniform

Griffiths Primary was formerly known as Towner Road Primary due to its locality. Started in 1950, it was then renamed to Griffiths Primary in honour of Mr James Griffiths. However, the school closed down once in 1982 and its pupils were transferred to Moulmein Primary (history above) as a result. The school was subsequently resurrected in 1988 and was operating at Junyuan Primary School before the completion of its premises at Tampines 22. Who would have expected its closure again 20 over years later? 😦

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From Griffith’s 30th Anniversary Souvenir

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And seriously, Angsana?? Couldn’t the naming committee think of something more modern?

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Hong Kah Primary School (Bukit Gombak)

To merge with Lianhua Primary School in 2015

I used to live about 15 minutes walk away from the school, which started in 1994. Being a resident of Bukit Gombak for 20 over years, I’m pretty familiar with the schools in the neighbourhood. Moreover, two of my best friends were ex-students of Hong Kah Primary as well. From their account, I have to say that this absorption is inevitable.

There are 4 primary schools in the small housing area of Bukit Gombak alone – St. Anthony’s (my alma mater), Lianhua, Dazhong and Hong Kah – and sad to say, Hong Kah is the least popular among all. It faces very stiff competition from neighbouring schools like St Anthony’s, the most popular in the area with oversubscription in phase 2C. According to my friends, parents only enroll their kids there as a last resort when they can’t get a spot at St. Anthony’s :\ Some never even considered about Hong Kah Primary.

hongkah_googlemaps hongkah_sch hongkah_sharon-tan hongkah_uniform

With just 23 applicants for its 150 vacancies in 2014, I’m also unsure of the reason for its unpopularity. Could it be due to its less than exceptional academic performance? Nevertheless, I’m certain that it’s remote location plays a part in its closure.

Source: [1] [2]


Bedok West Primary School (Bedok)

To merge with Damai Primary School in 2015

Formerly known as Kaki Bukit Primary School, it was renamed Bedok West when it shifted to 50 Bedok Reservoir in 1984. For many years since its relocation, the school functioned as a single session school until the end of 1995 when there was a demand for more places and the school had to function both sessions. Its pupil population increased and hit 1468 in 40 classes in a particular year. The school serves pupils living in Bedok area and the neighbouring areas such as Eunos, Tampines, Pasir Ris and Changkat Changi.

bedokwest_googlemaps

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Probably due to population shift, the school suffered a precipitous drop in enrolment in recent years. The last recorded population in 2013 was 600. During P1 registration last year, it only had 35 pupils registered out of a possible 150.

(Special thanks to Hadi Chik for the pictures)

Source: [1] [2]

* * *

Looking at these pictures made me reminisce about the past. I’m sure kids born in and before the 90’s had a much enjoyable childhood as compared to the new generation.

Have a story to share about your decommissioned school? Let me know in the comments below! I may include that in my next write-up 🙂 And as you can see, some schools mentioned above don’t come with pictures. That’s because I can’t find them online so if you have some pictures of your school, feel free to share them!

Credits go to sgschoolmemories for their very comprehensive lists of schools in mature estates which gave me a good head start in this blog entry.

Special thanks to Kuek Jinhua and Andrew for providing me with additional research for Jervois Primary, Tanglin Boy’ and Girls’ Primary, Kay Siang Primary, May Primary, Boon Keng Primary and Bukit Ho Swee Primary schools.

Read also:
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 2)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 3)
HISTORY: Closed and Merged Schools in Singapore (PART 4)