Asia

Coronavirus: Delays in upgrading, relocation for schools and junior colleges

SINGAPORE – Upgrading and relocation plans for two secondary schools and four junior colleges will be deferred for one year because of measures in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The precautionary measures have affected design plans, the production and delivery of construction materials, availability of workers and on-site construction works.

For instance, upgrading was planned for Woodlands Ring Secondary School between January 2021 and December 2022, during which the school was to move to a holding site, the former North View Secondary School premises.

However, upgrading will start only a year later and the school will move to its holding site from January 2022 to December 2023, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in a statement on Wednesday (July 1)

Plans for Yusof Ishak Secondary School’s (YISS) relocation to Punggol in January 2021 will be delayed by a year as construction work for its new campus was halted during the circuit breaker period. The school will move in January 2022 instead, the MOE said.

To minimise disruption to students’ learning, YISS will only admit its new cohort of Secondary 1 students in 2022, when it has moved to its new premises.

“The delay will have no impact for the current students in YISS. The earlier arrangements for them to continue their studies in the existing YISS campus in Bukit Batok would remain,” the MOE said.

The ministry also announced updates to the JC Rejuvenation Programme.

In the first phase that was supposed to start in 2022, Anderson Serangoon Junior College and Temasek Junior College were to have moved temporarily to holding sites while their campuses were rebuilt.

Jurong Pioneer Junior College was to move into its new home being rebuilt at the former Jurong Junior College site, while Yishun Innova Junior College was to move to its upgraded site at the former Innova Junior College upon completion.

As the circuit breaker measures affected preliminary construction works, upgrading and rebuilding plans will be deferred for a year to allow for more time to determine what upgrades and construction work are needed for both the permanent and holding sites, the MOE said.

Construction is expected to commence in 2023 and is estimated to be completed by end-2025.

Necessary arrangements will be made to ensure the students at the schools and junior colleges affected continue to have a conducive learning environment, the ministry said.

It added that it will continue to “monitor the situation closely and assess the impact of the Covid-19 situation on ongoing construction works”.

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