Raffles Institution (RI) and Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) will be getting new principals next year.
They are among 61 schools – from primary schools to junior colleges – involved in the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) annual reshuffle exercise. These include four secondary schools formed from mergers, as well as other Integrated Programme schools such as Nanyang Girls’ High School and Victoria School.
Sixteen of the schools involved in the exercise will have first-time principals.
In a statement yesterday, the MOE said the appointment of these new principals represents an important career milestone with the 16 assuming bigger responsibilities as leaders in education.
“For the 45 serving principals and (headquarters) officers who are assuming new principalship appointments, it is an affirmation of MOE’s confidence in their abilities to continue guiding our teachers and students in schools,” said the ministry.
It added that the process of appointing and rotating principals allows schools to benefit from new perspectives and enables experienced principals to share their insights across schools. “Our principals will have the opportunity to take on new challenges, and contribute by shaping and strengthening the work of the schools that they are newly appointed to,” said MOE.
The first-time principals include Mr Alvin Lim, 37, who will be Guangyang Secondary’s new principal, and Mr Tan Kuo Cheang, 38, who will helm Xinmin Secondary. Both men are currently vice-principals at their respective schools.
“I am excited because this is my first posting as a principal… I hope to continue the school’s trajectory of focusing on values and character, and give students the options to discover their interests through subjects and co-curricular activities,” said Mr Tan.
Among the principals retiring are Mr Chan Poh Meng and Dr Hon Chiew Weng, the current heads of RI and HCI, respectively. Mr Chan will be replaced by Mr Frederick Yeo, 46, now the principal of Crest Secondary School. Mr Pang Choon How, currently director of mother tongue languages at MOE’s curriculum planning and development division 1, will take over from Dr Hon at HCI.
Dr Hon and Mr Chan, both 60, are among nine principals who will be retiring by the end of the year.
Said Mr Pang, 41, who will be returning to his alma mater after more than 20 years: “It is a privilege to come back and lead Hwa Chong. I am grateful for the opportunities I was given as a student to grow and develop.”
His interest in biculturalism also stemmed from being part of the school’s language elective programme, after which he completed a degree in Chinese language and literature at Peking University.
“The education landscape has really changed a lot and the opportunities today are more varied,” said Mr Pang, who was also principal of Chung Cheng High School (Main) for four years.