July 01, 2020
Delays in Infrastructure Projects for Secondary Schools and Junior Colleges Due to the COVID-19 Situation
1. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, various precautionary measures have been implemented both locally and abroad to contain the spread of the virus. These measures have affected the production and delivery of construction materials, design plans, availability of workers, as well as on-site construction works. As a result, the infrastructure projects for two secondary schools and four junior colleges (JCs) will be deferred by one year.
Delay in Infrastructure Projects for Secondary Schools
Upgrading for Woodlands Ring Secondary School
2. As part of our Programme for Rebuilding and Improving Existing schools (PRIME), MOE had planned for Woodlands Ring Secondary School (WRSS) to be upgraded from January 2021 to December 2022. During that period, the school was to hold at the former North View Secondary School site. To prepare the holding site for use, sprucing works such as the conversion of facilities to suit the school's needs, repainting, replacement of faulty air conditioners and light fittings are required. However, the COVID-19 situation has caused delays in the sprucing works and the holding site would not be ready for the school to start operations in January 2021. WRSS will thus only be upgraded a year later, and will move to the holding site from January 2022 to December 2023.
Relocation of Yusof Ishak Secondary School
3. In 2018, MOE announced that Yusof Ishak Secondary School (YISS) would be relocated to Punggol in January 2021 to meet the demand for school places in that area. Due to the COVID-19 situation, construction work for YISS' new campus was halted. As a result, the new campus will only be ready one year later, and YISS will now relocate to Punggol in January 2022.
4. When YISS was slated to relocate to Punggol in 2021, the school did not admit new Secondary 1 cohorts in 2019 and 2020 to its current campus in Bukit Batok to minimise disruption to students' learning. The school had also initially planned to admit its new Secondary 1 cohort at the new Punggol campus in 2021. As the school's relocation will now take place in January 2022, the school will admit its new Secondary 1 cohort only in 2022.
5. 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.
Updates to the JC Rejuvenation Programme
6. MOE announced the JC Rejuvenation Programme during the 2019 Committee of Supply Debate, where older JC campuses would be upgraded or rebuilt to support more interactive models of teaching and learning. Four JCs – Anderson Serangoon Junior College (ASRJC), Jurong Pioneer Junior College (JPJC), Temasek Junior College (TJC) and Yishun Innova Junior College (YIJC) – would be upgraded or rebuilt under Phase 1 of the JC Rejuvenation Programme. ASRJC and TJC would temporarily move to the former Serangoon JC and Tampines JC sites respectively while the existing sites undergo rebuilding. YIJC and JPJC would remain at their existing sites while the former Innova JC and Jurong JC sites are upgraded and rebuilt respectively. They will move to their respective upgraded or rebuilt sites when completed. Please refer to Annex C for the location of the sites.
7. The Circuit Breaker measures have now affected the preliminary construction works – hence, more time is required to establish the types of sprucing and construction works needed for both the permanent and holding sites. As such, construction works for the four JCs under Phase 1 will be deferred by a year, and will start in 2023 and complete tentatively by end-2025.
8. The two secondary schools and four JCs affected by the delays will make the necessary arrangements to ensure that all students continue to have a conducive learning environment. MOE will also continue to monitor the situation closely and assess the impact of the COVID-19 situation on ongoing construction works.