Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) was founded in 1978 at its location in Serangoon Ave 3 and was among the first junior colleges to be established in Singapore.
As NYJC’s campus was built on a small hill, fog often covered part of the college in the 1980s and 1990s. NYJC was thus known affectionately as “白云岗” (literally meaning “White Cloud Hill”, for the fog that covered it).
‘Nanyang’ is hanyu pinyin for the Chinese characters “南洋（translated as “South Sea”). This was used by the mainland Chinese people to refer to the region encompassed by Singapore, Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region. The name is a reflection of the origins of Singapore having been built by immigrants predominantly from China, India, Malaysia and other parts of the world.
The college crest is a red shield with a blue base, the red and blue being separated by a row of four crescents in yellow. Superimposed on this is a white lion’s head. The red of the shield symbolises unity in strength; the blue represents the southern sea; and the lion’s head stands for Singapore. The four crescents signify the multi-racial nature as well as the growth of the college in tandem with the nation.
The focus on attaining growth and success based on collaboration and hard work is most obvious in the college’s motto of “Together We Build” （共同建设）.
Our College Song
The original college song was composed by M.Cheng, Leow Wee Seong (lyrics) and L.Fang (Melody). The English version is sung during assemblies and college functions.
In 2006, the school management committee decided that the college song was in need of a rearrangement to keep it fresh and interesting. In January 2007, the college’s Symphonic Band retuned the school song that is played every Wednesday.
Our College Pledge
The Nanyang Pledge (2007)
We, the students of Nanyang Junior College,
Pledge to be men and women of integrity;
Showing empathy and concern,
We will be compassionate towards others;
Meeting challenge with resilience,
We will be proactive and resourceful;
We will build a better future for our college and our community.
In 2011, the college launched the official NYJC polo shirt. The shirt came in two colours – white and navy, and it very quickly became the more popular uniform option with many students owning these polo t-shirts. In 2013, the college added two more colours – light blue and red.
The junior college (JC) system was implemented at the end of the 1960s to offer a challenging environment for students to develop their talents, both in the academic and non-academic spheres. In the 1970s, Nanyang Junior College, the seventh JC to be built, was established to meet the growing demand for a JC education. In 1972, the Building Committee, chaired by Mr Goh Tjoei Kok (JP, BBM), was formed and construction of the college began in early October 1976.
In consultation with the Ministry of Education, the Lorong Chuan Junior College Building Committee appointed Mr Chia Khoon Hock, the then Specialist Advisor/Science as Principal Designate on 1st August 1977. Initially, the college was named Lorong Chuan Junior College because of its location. On 19th November 1977, after the fifth meeting of the Building Committee, it was officially changed to Nanyang Junior College, with the approval of the Ministry of Education. Nanyang JC is a government-aided JC.
The first cohort of Arts and Science students, about 600 altogether, was enrolled in January 1978. They were housed temporarily in the then Westlake Secondary School. With the completion of the construction of the major buildings and facilities in November 1978, the staff and students moved to the new premises in December 1978.
Moving into the new premises at Lorong Chuan involved the mammoth task of organising the college and getting it into the most efficient working condition. There were obstacles faced, but the sense of fulfillment in overcoming these challenges was rewarding.
On 26th January 1980, the Building Committee, which had been acting in an advisory capacity, was dissolved and in its place a new Management Committee was formed. Mr Goh Tjoei Kok, who was formerly the Chairman of the Building Committee, was elected the Chairman of the School Management Committee (SMC).
To mark the birth of the college, an Official Opening Week was planned from 19th to 23rd May 1980. The Official Opening Ceremony was graced by Mr Lee Khoon Choy, then Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office and MP for Braddell Heights. The ceremony began with the Investiture of the first School Management Committee. Mr Goh Tjoei Kok, the Chairman of the Management Committee, then proceeded to lay the Foundation Stone of the college. The celebrations, which went on for a week, included public performances by the English, Malay, Chinese and Indian drama groups at Victoria Theatre. An art exhibition was also held in our very own Art Studio.
Nanyang JC was appointed by the Ministry of Education to organise the 1981 Pre-University Seminar. In 1982, the college hosted the North Zone Schools Colours Award Ceremony and the National Schools Sports Council Colours Award Ceremony.
In the first five years since its establishment, the college focused on building its identity and publicising the institution to the public. Subsequently, the college consolidated the foundation built and raised the quality of education to match the best of the junior colleges in Singapore.
As part of the efforts to foster creativity and aesthetic appreciation, public performances in the four languages were staged by NYJCians. A musical event – ‘Songs of Nanyang’ – featuring original compositions of our students, was held at the DBS Auditorium in 1986. The college also staged an opera performance, entitled ‘Dido & Aeneas’ at the Victoria Theatre, and a play by the Indian Cultural Society at the Drama Centre. The Malay Language Cultural Society also organised an island-wide choral competition – Gema Dikir Barat. The wide array of cultural activities in the 1980s reflected the vibrant cultural atmosphere in the college as well as its emphasis on multi-racialism.
The second half of the 1980s witnessed important milestones in our history. In 1986, the college organised its first Open House to give secondary school students an insight into life in Nanyang JC. While we welcomed potential students to the college, we did not forget the students who helped to build the Nanyang community. The NanyangN Junior College Alumni Association was formed in 1988 to enable our students to maintain their ties with the college and to foster a sense of belonging to their alma mater. Towards the end of the decade, the college celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The 1990s began with the official opening of the Games Complex. The Complex comprised an Air Rifle Range, a physical conditioning centre, two squash courts and a multi-purpose hall for gymnastics and dancing.
As part of its constant effort to improve the learning environment and provide state-of-the-art technology, the college also built the Resource Centre. The Foundation Stone of the Resource Centre was laid by the first Chairman of the School Management Committee, Mr Goh Tjoei Kok. The three-storey block housed the Resource Library, the Computer Centre, the AVA Room and seminar rooms. The Resource Centre represented a significant investment in the development of an intellectual environment. It was completed in 1993 and officially opened on 21st May 1995 by Mr Wee Cho Yaw, the second Chairman of the School Management Committee.
The mid-1990s marked the 15th Anniversary of the college. To commemorate this significant milestone in our history, the Publications Committee students initiated the idea of a time capsule. They invited their peers to pen their feelings about the college and were rewarded with an overwhelming response from the student population. These notes, written by the principal, teachers and students, together with several mementoes, were sealed in the time capsule, scheduled to be revealed at the college’s 30th Anniversary celebration.
While we celebrated many significant developments in the 1990s, we were also sad to see the departure of one of our pioneering leaders. Mr Goh Tjoei Kok, the Chairman of the School Management Committee, passed away in 1994. Mr Goh contributed much to the development of the college and we were sad to see the demise of a generous philanthropist. Mr Wee Cho Yaw succeeded as Chairman of the SMC.
In December 1994, the college bade farewell to our first Principal, Mr Chia Khoon Hock. After 18 years of leading the college since its inception in 1978, Mr Chia passed the baton to Mdm So Bie Leng in 1995.
The 1990s saw the launch of two important academic programmes in our college. In 1997, Nanyang JC was selected to be the second college in Singapore to be a centre for the Art Elective Programme (AEP). The college’s efforts to foster a sense of pride in our cultural traditions were also recognized when the Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) was launched by Rear Admiral Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence in 1999. Nanyang JC was proud to be one of three centres then to offer the Chinese Language Elective Programme.
To meet the changing demands of the times and to prepare our students to meet the challenges of the new millennium, the college crafted its first set of College Vision and Mission statements, with emphasis placed on the four key values – commitment, conviction, confidence and compassion.
The College Mission and Vision statements were put into concrete terms in the form of the Students’ Creed. The creed, a fusion of the contributions of all civics tutorial groups, encapsulated the values NYJCians held dear to their hearts. It was launched on 31 Dec 1999, by Professor Leo Tan, Dean of the National Institute of Education.
The 21st Century
The college began the 21st century with a new principal - Mrs Ho Woon Ho, as Mdm So Bie Leng retired from the service in December 1999. Under Mrs Ho’s guidance, the college fine-tuned the Mission and Vision statements, to emphasise our goal – to be a value-added college.
As part of our effort to add value to the whole person, Nanyang JC focused on the inculcation of values and the nurturing of student leaders. In line with this thrust of the college, the Student Leadership Development Department was set up. The college organised Leadership Training Camps not only for our CCA leaders, but also for the Class Committee members and the JC1 cohort. All these reflect our belief that every student is a leader. These leadership training courses and the Mental Skills training programme, are just a sample of the wide variety of enrichment programmes the college has introduced to develop the leadership potential and character of our students.
PRIME Project: the rebuilding of the college
At the turn of the century, many of the college facilities and parts of the building started to show signs of wear and tear. The college was therefore given the opportunity to rebuild its facilities under the Ministry of Education PRIME project. As part of this programme, the Ministry Of Education bore 95% of the cost of reconstruction of the college. To minimise disruptions, it was decided that the rebuilding of the college be on-site. The staff and students took up the challenge of carrying on with the day-to-day operations of the college with the on-going construction work. Despite the interruptions to lessons and many college activities, they remained undaunted and were eventually rewarded in 2004 when they were able to move to the spanking new building, with its modern architecture and facilities. In the same year, the college held a four-in-one programme, which consisted of the 25th College Day Prize-giving Ceremony, the Official Opening of the College Alumni Clubhouse, the unveiling of the art mural – Eblouissant, and the Homecoming Carnival.
In June 2005, the SMC explored the possibility of renaming Nanyang JC as Chung Cheng Junior College. Owing to strong objection by the Alumni of the college, the name of the college was retained.
In December 2005, the college bade farewell to our 3rd principal, Mrs Ho Woon Ho who retired after more than 30 years in the education service. Mrs Ho was succeeded by Mr Kwek Hiok Chuang.
Revised JC Curriculum and the focus on Excellence
In 2006, the revised JC curriculum was implemented by MOE. H3, H2 and H1 subjects were introduced to replace the previous S-papers and subjects read as ‘A’ or ‘AO’ levels respectively. Students were expected to read 3H2 and 1 H1 content-based subjects, together with H1 Project Work, H1 GP and H1 MTL. One of the H1 or H2 content-based subjects must be a contrasting subject.
In view of the changed expectations and keen competition among the 17 JCs, Mr Kwek stressed the importance of enhancing the college’s image and branding efforts. He led the college to focus on its performance in both the academic and non-academic areas and the staff understood the importance of delivering quality programmes and building an environment conducive to the holistic development of NYJCians.
With the support of the staff and the commitment of NYJCians, the college has been recognised for its consistent achievements in its ‘A’ Level examination results, niche sports, Art & crafts and aesthetics programmes.
NYJCians have done well in their ‘A’ Level examinations and furthered their studies in reputable universities. While the national percentage of JC students entering local universities stays at about 70%, NYJC has had more than 80% of its students enter the local universities since 2013. The college also witnessed an increase in the number of prestigious scholarships obtained by the students.
The college has received the following academic value-added awards from the Ministry of Education since 2007:
2007 – Silver
2008 – Silver
2009 – Gold
2010 – Silver
2011 – Gold
2012 – Gold
2013 – Silver
The college has been receiving the Ministry of Education’s Sustained Achievement Award (SAA) for its Academic Value-added performance for 5 consecutive years (from 2009 to 2013), and SAA for Aesthetics for 6 consecutive years (from 2008 to 2013).
Based on the assessment outcomes by the external validators from the Ministry of Education and SPRING Singapore in April 2009, the college was awarded the School Distinction Award (SDA) and Singapore Quality Class (SQC). The college also received the Best Practice Award (Staff Well-being) from then Minister for Education, Dr Ng Eng Hen, at the Ministry of Education Workplan Seminar in September 2009.
In 2014, the Ministry of Education revamped the school awards in order to place more emphasis on recognising best practices by schools in delivering a student-centric and values-driven education. As a result, the Masterplan of Awards (MoA) was removed and 2013 was the last year that awards focusing on academic excellence and CCA achievements such as the Sustained Achievement Award, the School Excellent Award, and the Gold, Silver and Bronze Academic Value-added Awards were given. (https://www.moe.gov.sg/news/press-releases/moe-removes-secondary-school-banding-and-revamps-school-awards)
In line with the focus on delivering a well-rounded education, the Ministry of Education gave recognition to schools with best practices in five key aspects:
- Best Practice in Teaching and Learning
- Best Practice in Student All-Round Development
- Best Practice in Staff Development and Well Being
- Best Practice in Character and Citizenship Education (introduced in 2014)
- Best Practice in Partnership (introduced in 2014)
Based on the assessment outcomes by the external validators from the Ministry of Education and SPRING Singapore in April 2016, the college the college received all of the Best Practice Awards from the Minister for Education in 2017.
The college Volleyball (Boys’ & Girls’) teams, Table Tennis (Boys’ & Girls’) teams and Judo (Boys’ & Girls’) teams have done the college proud by consistently clinching the top 4 positions in the National ‘A’ Division Championships since 2004. Special mention must be made of our Volleyball Boys and Girls teams which won the National School Games 'A' Division Championship for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018), making NYJC the first school in the history of Singapore to have such an achievement. Other sport groups such as the college Badminton Teams, the Basketball Teams and the Soccer Team have also noteworthy achievements in the recent years.
The performing arts groups (i.e. Chinese Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Guzheng Ensemble, Choir, Drama and Dance) have also done the college proud for consistently obtaining prestigious awards from the SYF Central Judging.
Service-learning and Community Involvement
Nanyang JC adopts a whole-college approach in encouraging students to initiate both local and overseas service-learning projects. They learn to identify the needs of the community and reflect on their own experience in working with the community. Some of the projects initiated by students over the years include Little Bundles of Happiness with YWCA, service-learning project at Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, Project CARElderly, Terrarium Building @ IJVillage, Music Therapy @ KK Hospital, Clean-Up and Refurbishing of low-income families in alliance with AWWA, Project Listen with Guide Dog Association of the Blind, and Mooncake-making with the seniors at Calvary Community Care.
Since 2007, our staff members have set a good example by performing service-learning through establishing long-term partnerships with Ministry of Education Adventure Centre to enhance the green spaces, Lion Befrienders@AMK to interact with the elderly; Serangoon Moral Student Care Centre for homework supervision; the National Parks Singapore to conduct Invasive Species Management at Peirce Reservoir, Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park, Dairy Farm Nature Park, and Singapore Quarry; Food from the Heart to help pack food hampers; and TOUCH Community Services’ to deliver meals to home-bound elderly in its Meals-on-wheels programme. In 2017, the staff embarked on new projects with MDAS and IMH to reach out to people with muscular dystrophy and people suffering mental disorder.
The college participated in the Step Up Challenge in 2013 to raise funds for needy families, and NYJCians have been part of the Walk For Rice project since 2011. About 100 students work with the South East CDC and Braddell Heights Division on community projects such as Rice Distribution @ BH project for 150 needy residents, food distribution @ BH project, Community Leadership Projects on neighbourliness and family bonding projects. The college enjoys a close tie with Braddell Heights Community and South East CDC.
The college is also one of the key partners of the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) and was awarded the CDAC’s Outstanding Partner Award in 2013. Besides organising various community services and welfare programmes to help the lower income families, the college has been co-hosting the annual Ready For School Programme with CDAC since 2012.
The college also received the PA Community Spirit (Merit) Award for the 2nd consecutive year in 2014 in recognition of the college’s continual and good efforts in fostering meaningful partnerships with the community and other agencies.
Review, Rethink, Reinvent (3Rs)
The 3Rs are very important to the college's planning and development. It is undergirded by our belief that there is no sacred cow too big to slaughter and it is important that as an education institution, Nanyang JC is constantly reviewing its processes and programmes in order to create learning spaces and a learning environment that is responding to and anticipating new needs and challenges.
Besides constantly reviewing and enhancing our instructional and co-curricular programme, the college is also known for introducing dress-down days, late starting time, 10-days timetable, flexible subject combinations – all done to enhance NYJCians’ well-being.
This effort to challenge the norm and time-honoured ways to bring about progress is not only limited to the college's internal processes and programmes. One example is the successful mooting and changing of the Pre-U Seminar format.
Format of Pre-U Seminar changed after 40 years
In 2013, the college organised the Pre-University Seminar at U-Town for 540 students from the various JCs, Integrated Programme schools, International Baccalaureate schools, and polytechnics. The theme of the seminar was Singapore 2030: Our Future, Our Home. The format of the seminar was changed for the first time since its inception. The refreshed seminar format brought student ownership and thought leadership to the forefront, with the aim of creating a seminar by students, for students.
A popular and trusted college
Over the years, Nanyang JC has become a reputable and popular JC in Singapore. With the college’s increasing popularity and the consistent excellent performance at the GCE ’A’ level examinations, the college, in 2014, saw more than 4000 GCE ‘O’ level graduates putting Nanyang JC as their top three preferred JCs, all vying to be 1 of the 700 JC1s to be admitted into the college.
From 2005 to date, the cut-off points (based on L1R5) improved gradually from 12 points for both the Science and Arts courses to 6 points for Science and 7 for the Arts in 2016 and 2017, placing us ahead of all our comparable colleges.
Besides the credible results attained by NYJCians in both academic and non-academic areas, other factors have contributed to the continued popularity of the college.
Enjoying easy accessibility
With the MRT Circle Line starting its operation in May 2009, Nanyang JC, sited next to Lorong Chuan Circle Line Station, became even more accessible. Moreover, the college is also served by 13 public bus services. As a result, NYJC is recognised as one of the most accessible JCs in Singapore.
Keeping our college up-to-date
In February 2011, the college refurbished its running track and the soccer field was replaced with a synthetic field. The brand new 8 lanes running track and soccer field were officially opened on 12 May 2012 at the college’s Sports Carnival.
In March 2012, the college upgraded the library and self-study areas. The seating capacities for the library and self-study areas were increased significantly.
In November 2012, the college further enhanced its facilities so as to provide a more conducive environment for learning and life-skills development. Four high element adventurous stations and three low element team-building stations were constructed. A barbeque pit was also constructed.
In November 2013, the college built its floor ball cum street soccer Court, created a landscape garden and upgraded the study corners, basketball and tennis courts to enhance the NY Experience.
In 2014, the college installed a number of Big S fans in the canteen, along the study areas near the Eblouissant and the hall to ensure good circulation of air and cooler environment.
To meet the demands for more indoor areas to hold performances, exhibitions and group activities, the college constructed a roof over the concourse in 2015. Full-length mirrors were installed along the corridor of the concourse so that the different dance groups can have an additional area to conduct their dance practices.
2015 also saw the college getting a new colour scheme when the repainting of college was arranged.
In 2016, the college installed an additional 70” TV in the canteen to broadcast Channel News Asia so that students can be updated with the happenings of the world as they are being reported.
Works to enhance the football field started at the end of 2017 with the installation of vertical netting.
Playing an active role
When the Provisional Admission Exercise ceased in 2009, NYJC introduced the very first JC Experience to provide secondary school graduates exploring their post-secondary options an opportunity to learn more about JC curriculum and JC life before they make their choices at the Joint Admission Exercise (JAE). JC experience started as a 3-days programme and participants from different secondary schools got to attend sample lectures and tutorials, participate in games and dialogues, and most importantly gained a better appreciation of what JC education is about. The programme has been updated and enhanced and even though it was later changed to a 1-day programme, the objective of supporting the students in making informed post-secondary choices is still met. In January 2018, the college organised its 10th JC Experience.
In December 2016, after spending 11 years in NYJC, our 4th principal, Mr Kwek Hiok Chuang retired from education service and handed over the baton to Mr Low Chun Meng.
The college celebrated its 30th anniversary in April 2007. Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, then Minister for Education graced the occasion and participated in the 30th Anniversary Carnival. To commemorate the college’s 30th Anniversary, the whole JC1 cohort was involved in painting huge wall murals for the void decks of 30 HDB blocks in Braddell Heights Constituency. The effort was highly commended by Housing and Development Board as a good practice of community service by schools.As such, when the college planned for its 35th anniversary celebration, it was decided that the college would freshen up the murals done previously and in addition, beautify the void decks of another 5 HDB blocks within the Braddell Heights Constituency. This community project was highly commended by the residents of Braddell Heights Division, the Marine Parade Town Council and supported by NTUC Fairprice. More than 250 alumni of the college attended the 35th Anniversary Dinner hosted by the college’s Alumni Association on 17 Aug 2013.
In 2018, the college celebrated its 40th anniversary. Together with our School Management Committee, the Nanyang Junior College Alumni Association organised the 40th Anniversary Dinner, inviting past principals, staff and students back to the college for an evening of reminiscing. Mr Tan Chuan Jin was the Guest of Honour for the dinner.
Our student leaders also played an active role in the celebration. They took the initiative to organise the inaugural RemiNYscence, a carnival for the alumni, staff and students. Some of our students came with their parents, who were themselves alumni of the College. It was a fun-filled and memorable afternoon for all.
The College's Heritage Gallery was revamped to include more current achievements and stories of our past. As an Art Elective Centre, we are happy to have produced many outstanding young artists such as Lee Xin Li, Lim Qixuan, Debbie Ding and Sarah Choo who have gone on to establish themselves in the art scene. The College is happy to commission 2 of our AEP graduates - Lee Xin Li and Chan Wing Tin to work on two pieces of wall mural for the Heritage Gallery. Xin Li's illustration focused on the transition from the old NYJC building to the new, showing how NYJC has grown and transformed in 40 years. NY40 by Wing Tin is a piece featuring 40 icons that are tied to the NY experience of different batches of students. Other than these 2 murals, the AEP unit also set up an Art Gallery on campus to showcase the artistic flair of our Art Elective Programme alumni.