Hwa Chong Junior College
|Hwa Chong Junior College
Maktab Rendah Hwa Chong
|661 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269734
|Type||Independent Junior College|
|Status||Current College section of Hwa Chong Institution|
|Closed||1 January 2005|
|Vision||Live with Passion, Lead with Compassion|
Hwa Chong Junior College (Chinese: 华中初级学院) was a former junior college in Singapore offering pre-university education. The college was founded in 1974 and was merged with The Chinese High School on 1 January 2005 to form Hwa Chong Institution.
In 1970, the then Minister for Education Ong Pang Boon approached a group of Chinese community leaders from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) to discuss establishing ten junior colleges to replace the pre-university classes in the senior high sections of Singapore's secondary schools.
Ong informed the leaders that the cost of constructing one junior college was estimated to be S$2.2 million and the government hoped that the SCCCI can help to raise half of the total funds. Ong appointed Tan Kong Choon, a prominent businessman and managing director of the board of The Chinese High School to be in charge of the task.
After meetings and discussions, the Chinese community leaders informed Ong that due to financial constraints, they were able to raise sufficient funds for constructing only two of the originally intended ten junior colleges. Subsequently, the management board of The Chinese High School stopped the school's pre-university classes in preparation for the building of a new junior college. In 1974, Hwa Chong Junior College was established at the Bukit Timah Road campus of The Chinese High School, and was run by the same management board as the high school. The junior college's name was an abbreviation of the high school's Chinese name, to mark the relationship between the two schools. Hwa Chong Junior College became the first government-aided junior college to be set up in Singapore after National Junior College.
Moving out and return to Bukit Timah
On 8 May 1987, Hwa Chong Junior College moved out of its premises at Bukit Timah Road due to structural problems with the building. Lessons were held temporarily at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and in Woodlands from May to December 1987. The college shifted to Bukit Batok Street 34 (present-day site of Swiss Cottage Secondary School and St. Anthony's Primary School) later. Hwa Chong moved back to its Bukit Timah campus in 1992 after the college premises were rebuilt and has remained there since.
Merger with Chinese High School
In January 2004, Hwa Chong Junior College became the first junior college in Singapore to become an independent one. On 1 January 2005, the college merged with its neighbour, The Chinese High School, to form Hwa Chong Institution, to facilitate the running of the school's Integrated Programme.
Culture & Identity
The college crest used before merger with Hwa Chong Institution was represented by four upward arrows bounded by a horizontal bar. These arrows represents the initial streams in the college, namely Arts, Science, Technical and Commerce, as well as the educational aims of social, moral, intellectual and physical growth, together with continued advancement as indicated by the soaring arrows. The horizontal bar that holds the arrows together signifies unity and the withholding of excellence.
Since moving back to its Bukit Timah Road campus, Hwa Chong Junior College was ranked again as one of the top junior colleges in Singapore based on the official college rankings by the Ministry of Education, that were introduced in the early 1990s. Hwa Chong was consistently ranked as the top college for Arts and Commerce. Hwa Chong had also been ranked as the top junior college in Singapore in terms of academic performance for its Science stream students and in overall performance for a number of times.
The college had an excellent track record in academia, sports, music, culture and the arts. Many of its graduates went on to become leaders in research, industry and government. Since the 1980s, Hwa Chong had been recognized as one of the top junior colleges in Singapore, along with others such as Raffles Junior College. Hwa Chong was also the first junior college to introduce the Humanities Scholarship Programme for students.
As of merger with the Chinese High School in 2005, Hwa Chong Junior College had produced the second highest number of President's Scholars (second only to Raffles Junior College, now known as Raffles Institution) as compared to other junior colleges in Singapore. Besides, Hwa Chong's students also take an impressive share of government and private organization undergraduate scholarships annually. More than 15% of each graduating cohort moved on to study in renowned universities worldwide, such as Harvard University and Cambridge University. Hwa Chong also had the distinction of being the top junior college for two elective programmes: namely, the Humanities Programme and the Chinese Language Elective Programme.
Chinese New Year celebrations in the central plaza