More mergers will materialise come 2016

Following Singapore’s declining fertility rate, some schools face enrolment numbers so small they aren’t even enough to fill a class. As such, some face the inevitable fate of being erased from the school directory – forever. Others merge with another school, and new schools are also formed from these amalgamations.

This year, the Ministry of Education has announced the merger of 8 secondary schools into 4.

Here’s a list of 13 schools that were formed from mergers:

Primary Schools

1. Telok Kurau Primary School


Current location: 50 Bedok Reservoir Road Singapore 479239

Mergers: Telok Kurau English School (later known as Telok Kurau East School), Telok Kurau Malay Girl’s School, Talok Kurau West School, Bedok Town Primary School


1926 – Telok Kurau English School was set up, adopting the name of its location – Telok Kurau Road (which means “Kurau Fish Bay” in English”). The school was established to satisfy the thriving population’s eagerness to learn English.

In the early colonial days, the school was a two-storey wooden building in the middle of a coconut plantation:


1958 – To cater to the increasing population, a new wing was added. Two schools with bearing the name “Telok Kurau” were constructed.

1960 – Telok Kurau Malay Girl’s School was built.

1962 – Telok Kurau West School was established.

Telok Kurau English School renamed itself as Telok Kurau East School.

1983 – Telok Kurau Malay Girl’s School amalgamated with Telok Kurau West School.

1985 – The two schools then merged with Telok Kurau East School to form Telok Kurau Primary School.

2001 – The school merged with Bedok Town Primary School.

Did you know?: During the Japanese Occupation, the school was used as a screening centre for Sook Ching Massacre.

Other fun facts: The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was enrolled into the school in 1930 and the late former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Hussein Onn in 1931.

2. Townsville Primary School


Current location: 3 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Singapore 569730

Mergers: Chong Shan Primary School, which absorbed students from Chong De Primary School


1981 – Chong Shan Primary School was established by the present Singapore PAP government, and started functioning in Ang Mo Kio Secondary School.


Chong De Primary School started accepting students although their premises were not ready yet. Students who enrolled instead had lessons at the nearby schools, Ang Mo Kio North Primary and Chong Shan.

1982 – Moved to new premises. The same year, the $4.28-million Chong De Primary School started operations.

1983 – Townsville Primary School was founded.

1985 – Townsville Primary School officially opened.

1998 – Following Chong De’s closure, its remaining students were transferred to Chong Shan.

2001 – Chong Shan merged with Townsville Primary School, and functioned at the new school erected at Chong De Primary School’s former site.

3. Da Qiao Primary School


Current location: 8 Ang Mo Kio Street 54, 569185

Mergers: Chong Boon Primary


1936 – Official opening of Tai Keou School (now known as Da Qiao Primary School) at North Bridge Road. Tai refers to “Dabu”, the founder’s province, while Keou refers to Singapore’s Chinese immigrants at that time.

The school was a Chinese-medium public school that served the community’s education needs and provided children from low income families with education opportunities.

1947 – After the Japanese Occupation, the school was re-opened at Lorong Tai Seng.

1964 – The school relocated to Jalan Paya and stayed there until 1980.

1981- Tai Keou was named as ‘Da Qiao’, the Hanyu Pinyin version of its former name. Da Qiao Primary School was then established as a government school in Ang Mo Kio.

1982 – The new school started to function at its new Ang Mo Kio site.

1999 – Under MOE’s Programme for Rebuilding and Improving Existing Schools (PRIME) scheme, Da Qiao moved to its current campus.

2000 – Chong Boon Primary merged with Da Qiao Primary.

4. Anderson Primary School


Current location: 6 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2 Singapore 569948

Mergers: Ang Mo Kio North Primary School, Li Hua Primary School, Hong Dao Primary School


1950s – Li Hua Primary was previous known as Lee Hua Chinese School

1981 – Ang Mo Kio North Primary School was started.


1982 – Hong Dao Primary School was set up.

Li Hua Primary and Ang Mo Kio North shared Presbyterian High School’s field before moving to bigger premises.

2000 – Under the PRIME plan, schools including Li Hua Primary School, Ang Mo Kio North Primary School, and Hong Dao Primary School were closed due to their small enrolment and merged together as Anderson Primary School, given their close proximity to one another.

5. Tanjong Katong Primary School

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Current location: 10 Seraya Road Singapore 437259

Mergers: Haig Boys’ Primary School, Fowlie Primary School (which was merged with Seraya Primary), Mountbatten Primary School


1951 – Haig Boys’ School was founded and named after British Commander-in-Chief during the Battle of the Somme, Sir Douglas Haig.

1986 – Seraya Primary merged with Fowlie School. The two schools shared the same field and were practically sister schools. Located opposite each other, Seraya Primary’s students would often head to Fowlie’s canteen to eat.

 2001 – Tanjong Katong Primary was formed with the amalgamation of Haig Boys’ School, Fowlie Primary School, and Mountbatten Primary School.

Unfortunately, not much is known about Mountbatten Primary School’s history.

Secondary Schools

6. Ping Yi Secondary School


Current location: 61 Chai Chee Street Singapore 468980

Mergers: Bedok Town Secondary School (former Kaki Bukit Secondary), which absorbed Chai Chee Secondary School (formerly Sennett Road Secondary School)


1930 – Pin Ghee Public School (currently known as Ping Yi Secondary School) opened its doors.

1957 – Pin Ghee Public School changed its name to Pin Ghee High School.

1965 – Bedok Town Secondary School was started as Kaki Bukit Secondary School, providing English and Malay education to children living in the once rural area in Singapore.

1965 – 1984 – Kaki Bukit Secondary was recognised as a top Malay medium school with good results in the Malay medium GCE ‘O’ level examination.

1968 – Chai Chee Secondary School was formerly known as Sennett Road Secondary School, an integrated school with Chinese and English medium students.

1970 – Sennett Road Secondary School was renamed Chai Chee Secondary School.

1983 – A change of name to Ping Yi Secondary School marked a new beginning for the school.

1984 – Kaki Bukit Secondary was renamed Bedok Town Secondary School.

2016 – Impending merger between Ping Yi Secondary and Bedok Town Secondary School.

7. Peicai Secondary School


Current location: 10 Serangoon Ave 4, Singapore 556094

Mergers: Parry Secondary School, Hwi Yoh Secondary School


1966 – Parry Secondary School was started.

1967 – Hwi Yoh Secondary School was completed.


1968 –Parry Secondary School was officially opened, and welcomed its first batch of students a year later.

1982 – Hwi Yoh soon folded after its Principal Mrs Jillian Scully committed suicide, taking her family along with her at their home. Rumour has it that her husband Victor Scully, who was a swindler, was close to being arrested and sent to jail for the second time. This pressured Mrs Scully to take her own life, together with her two young children.

1983 – Parry Secondary School closed, and Rosyth School moved to its site.

Both schools eventually merged, taking on a new name as Peicai Secondary School, a combination of Parry’s Hanyu Pinyin “Peili” and Hwi Yoh’s “Xicai”.

8. Fajar Secondary School


Current location: 31 Gangsa Road, Singapore 678972

Mergers: Chestnut Drive Secondary School (2016)


1968 – Chestnut Drive Secondary School was set up post-independence to cater to those living in Woodlands, Bukit Batok, Teck Whye, and Hillview areas.

1969 – Chestnut Drive Secondary School was officially open.

1994 – Fajar Secondary School was started.

1996 – Fajar Secondary shifted to its current Gangsa Road site.

2016 – Chestnut Drive Secondary will merge with Fajar Secondary and will be located at the latter’s new campus come 2018.

9. Broadrick Secondary School


Current location: 61 Dakota Cres, 399935

Mergers: Maju Secondary Schoool, Telok Kurau Secondary School


1965 – Telok Kurau Secondary School was founded.

1968 – Maju Secondary School and Broadrick Secondary School were established.

Due to the two schools’ close proximity, Broadrick Secondary School’s Secondary Three and Four Students used to attend Technical classes at Maju Secondary School.

1996 – Maju Secondary School merged with Broadrick Secondary School to become a single session school.

2005 – Broadrick Secondary School moved to its current 61 Dakota Crescent site.

2011 – Telok Kurau Secondary School closed at the end of the year and its students were transferred to Broadrick Secondary School.


10. Balestier Hill Secondary School


Current location: 11 Novena Rise, 307516

Mergers: Monk’s Hill Secondary School, Rangoon Secondary School 


1958 – Monk’s Hill was established on the site of what used to be a Chinese monastery, thus the name “Monk’s Hill”.

1967 – Rangoon Road Secondary was born, and was later known as just Rangoon Secondary School.

1964 – The school started out as Balestier Hill Integrated Secondary Technical School, one of Singapore’s first six secondary of technical schools to be opened. The school was an “integrated” one as it had both English and Chinese streams.

1986 – The Chinese stream was discontinued.

1992 – The school was renamed as Balestier Hill Secondary School.

2001 – Rangoon Secondary School merged with Balestier Hill Secondary School.

2007 – Monk’s Hill Secondary School merged with Balestier Hill Secondary School.

11. Tanglin Secondary School


Current location: 301 West Coast Road, 127391

Mergers: Clementi Woods Secondary (with effect from 2016), which was formed from a merger between Ghim Moh Secondary School and Jin Tai Secondary School


1964Tanglin Integrated Technical Secondary was officially opened. The school started out as an all-boys school, and was even known as the ‘Raffles Institution of the West’.

The school later introduced changes with female students enrolment and became the first school to bring about fencing. Later, it was renamed as Tanglin Secondary School.

1976 – Ghim Moh Secondary started out as Alexandra English Elementary School.

1982 – Jin Tai Secondary was formed.

2006 – Jin Tai Secondary School was renamed to Clementi Woods Secondary School.

2007 – Ghim Moh Secondary and the former Jin Tai Secondary School amalgamated to form Clementi Woods Secondary School.

2014 – MOE announced that Tanglin Secondary School would be merged with Clementi Woods Secondary next year, but will keep its name.

Tertiary Institutions

12. National University of Singapore (NUS)


Current location: 21 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, 119077

Mergers: Nanyang University, University of Singapore


1904 – Tan Jiak Kim, the Straits Chinese British Association’s first president, along with other group representatives, petitioned for the Governor of the Straits Settlements to start a medical school in Singapore. Tan managed to raise 87,077 Straits dollars and forked out $12,000 himself.

1905 – The medical school was founded, and named the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School.

1912 – The school received $120,000 in funding from the King Edward VII Memorial Fund.

1913 – The medical school was renamed as King Edward VII Medical School.

1921 – To reflect its academic status, it was changed again to the King Edward VII College of Medicine.

1928 – Raffles College was set up to promote social sciences and arts for Malayan students.

1949 – Raffles College merged with the King Edward VII College of Medicine to form the University of Malaya.

1953 – Singapore Hokkien Association’s then chairman Tan Lark Sye had an idea of building a Chinese university in Singapore for the Chinese community to have higher education. He set up a fund, garnered donations from people from all walks of life, and donated $5 million himself.

The Singapore Hokkien Association donated 500 acres in the western Jurong area.

1956 – Nanyang University (or Nantah) was started although the entire campus was not fully constructed. The school offered courses in sciences, arts, and commerce.

1958 – Nanyang University had its official opening ceremony.

1962 – University of Malaya split, establishing the Kuala Lumpur division as the University of Malaya and Singapore’s as the University of Singapore.


1980 – Nanyang University merged with the University of Singapore to form the National University of Singapore. This move came after the then-prime minister Lee Kuan Yew proposed a merger to combine the two institutions’ resources and promote English as Singapore’s main language.

The university’s alumni and the Chinese community strongly opposed to the merger, and felt that it was a political move.

Enrolment numbers of Nantah eventually dropped severely following the promotion of an education system based on English medium of instruction, leading to the university’s demise.

1981 – Nanyang Technological Institute (currently known as Nanyang Technological University) took over the site of Nantah.

13. ITE College Central


Current location: 2 Ang Mo Kio Drive, 567720

Mergers: ITE Bedok, Bishan, MacPherson, Tampines and Yishun


2001 – Ministry of Education (MOE) developed a plan to group 10 of Singapore’s ITE schools into three mega campuses to allow institutions to offer better facilities and a wider range of courses.

2012 – Under this plan, five colleges – Bedok, Bishan, MacPherson, Tampines and Yishun campuses – merged to form the new ITE College Central.

ITE’s former campus at Yishun and MacPherson will be demolished for the development of condominiums; its Tampines campus became a commercial building; the Bishan site became St Joseph’s instituition; the Bedok one will be converted into a Fighting in Built-Up Areas (FIBUA) village.

* Under the “One ITE System, Three Colleges” Governance and Education Model, all ITEs were streamlined into East, West, and Central. This means that all three existing ITEs are formed from mergers. 

Should schools be merged?

Was your school formed from a merger too? What do you think of school mergers?

On the one hand, mergers help to consolidate resources, which may contribute to a more holistic education for students. On the other hand, alma maters may face dissolution of identity as a part of them is irrevocably erased.

Are school mergers a boon or a bane?

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With reference to Telok Kurau Primary, Ministry of Education, Wikipedia, Clementi Woods SecondaryWikipedia, Book SGWikipedia, Fiona SeahMinistry of Education, WikipediaTanjong Katong PrimaryWikipedia, Bedok Town Secondary, WikipediaFiona SeahMinistry of EducationWikipedia, Ping Yi Secondary, Remember Singapore, Fiona Seah, Wikipedia, Wikia