Temasek Junior College (TJC) is located at 22 Bedok South Road, Singapore 469278. It is about 10 minutes from the nearest MRT and some buses that you can get there are 12, 31, 38, 196, 197, 229, 851.
The maximum number of students in a class in TJC is 25 students. For each class we have a civics tutor as our form/homeroom teacher. Each batch has about 30++ classes. There are 2 grade levels in a Junior College and we call each new batch "Year 1s" and the seniors "Year 2s". We also have a quaint habit of calling those who have graduated "Year 3s", "Year 4s", "Year 5s", etc according to the year in which they have graduated. Classes are named by numbers followed by the year in which that the students entered. Therefore, with me as an example, since I entered TJC in 2003 and my class number is 32, my class would be called 32/03. We don't have a "homeroom" and we follow the lecture-tutorial system so we move around the school quite a bit.
Students at TJC would take the Cambridge 'A' levels examination at the end of Year 2. The 'AO' level subjects can be taken in either Year 1 or Year 2, depending on whether you pass or would like to take the examination again. It is mandatory for all students to take the General Paper and Project Work 'AO' level paper. Other mandatory non-examinable subjects include Physical Education and Civics lessons. Each student in TJC has to take at least 3 'A' levels subjects and up to 4 'A' level subjects. This is in line with the university requirements in Singapore and most other countries. Students can opt to take 'S' paper subjects which are more difficult than 'A' level subjects.
'A' levels subjects offered in TJC in 2004 include:
- Maths 'A' Level
- Maths 'AO' Level
- Further Maths
- English Literature
- Music Elective Program (MEP)
- Higher Chinese
- Chinese 'A'
- General Studies
- Chinese Language Elective Program (LEP)
- Chinese 'AO'
- Malay 'AO'
- Tamil 'AO'
For 'S' Paper subjects, TJC offers:
- English Literature
Entry into 'S' Paper subjects are subject to selection tests and the Heads of Departments' (HODs') approval. In recent times, 'S' Paper value lie very much in meeting Singapore's Public Services Commission (PSC) Scholarship and a wish for a more in-depth look into the subject.
The Science Faculty is much larger than the Arts faculty and each year, there is only one or two classes taking only the Arts subjects. This does not include students who opt to take cross-combination subjects which would include both the Arts and Science subjects. Perhaps the prevalence of the study in science subjects in TJC is reflective of how Singaporeans value Science subjects rather than Arts ones.
Buildings and Facilities
Our school has 4 lecture theatres (LTs) (2 big ones, 2 smaller ones), one hall, one auditorium, 8 computer labs (2 for bio-chem, 4 for lessons, 1 for the students doing Computing and 1 for all students' use), quite a few (newly renovated) science labs, 1 canteen, 1 rock-climbing wall, 1 track field, 1 sports complex, 1 library and many classrooms. There is also a place behind classrooms 109, 110 and 111 that we use for painting banners. It is, perhaps, the most colourful area in TJC. We also have many mango trees but due to some bureaucratic nonsense, we are not allowed to pluck it and it often goes to waste as they ripen and inevitably fall. But then again, I'm told that the mangoes do not taste sweet but sour as they are the kind that stays green even when it is ripe. We also have 2 fish ponds, one in front of the General Office and one under LT 2. There are carp and goldfishes there. I'm told by one of students part of the older batch that the reason why the goldfishes are there is because in the year in which he was in, they were selling/giving away goldfishes in one carnival or the other in school and some people dumped their goldfish in the pond where they have been ever since.
Our school is also rather makeshift in that there are extension blocks upon extension blocks. As far as I can determine, the original blocks only consisted of the hall, the 2 bigger LTs. Even our assembly area was, once upon a time, a carpark for teachers. I know this because I have examined the yearbooks in the library and found that the older yearbooks showed it to be so. The sports complex's and tracks' origins are in doubt though. Computer rooms were certainly new additions and the 6 computer labs are part of the IT Block. There has also been additions to the classroom blocks since time immemorial. The library is also a new addition (probably in the time of the smaller LTs' block since the architectural is somewhat similar) and so is the Music Block. TJC has probably undergone many many renovations and in more recent times, our science labs, Temasek Research Center (until recently known as the TRC which was, before this, the old library). The Auditorium is also new (probably in the time of the IT Block).
The school is pre-dominantly in the colours of red and white. The original buildings had been made of bricks and it seemed that, even with the new extensions, they had retained these two colours. The school is decorated by pictures by the Art students and there are many boards commemorating our achievements. Otherwise, bulletin boards for the various departments and PDPs (personal development programs, a fancy word for after-school activities and school clubs). We can also put up posters around the school. Flower bushes and plants line the open pathways. Last year in 2003, the Kinetic Garden was set up in below the Temasek Research Center. It is a garden that is supposed to teach us about some properites in physics though it seem to me that it has fallen into neglect. The novelty has worn off. Various banners face the street outside the school of our slogan "Passion, Purpose and Drive".
Our lockers are assigned to us by the Students' Council (SC) and it carries an $8 fee per year. But, my friend tells me that, though they may run the risk of being found out by the SC, empty lockers can be used without paying as long as you have lock since nobody can tell the difference between paid and unpaid lockers. Maybe the SC should do a better job doing more regular checkups. In 2004 this year, the tables under LT1 has been moved into the grass area next to the canteen. They have also set up a shaded area there so now we can sit without fear of sun or rain. Theoretically, of course. I was told that that area had actually contained a rather large TJC crest in eons before. It is, of course gone now. In the pathway from the new LT blocks to LT1 is a pretty frame covered with plants and flowers. But no one ever notices it because the plants have grown a little too well and many think that it is just a rather tall flower bush. But if you examine more closely, there is space to make your way through the little frame.
In 2005, TJC would be taking part in the Integrated Programme. As part of the school's effort to bring students from Secondary 2 (8th grade equivalent) in, TJC has been renovating and doing up the school alot. We have an electronic attendance-taking system but it is going through a lot of teething problems so our civics tutors are still doing it the old fashioned way, just in case. We would tap our ez-link card against a card reader which would record our attendence. It is quite a high tech system but I personally find it to be annoying because I always forget to tap the card.
Personal Development Programmes (PDPs)
There are many PDPs in TJC. There are all kinds of sports, service clubs, music and performing arts groups, interest groups and various societies so I shall only attempt to name some of them:
Chinese Pugilistic Club
Climbing Club (Climbing Wall)
Outdoors Activiites Club
Swimming (Bedok Swimming Pool)
Track & Field
Audio-Visual Club (beside Rm 225a)
First Aid Unit
IT Club (Comp Rm 2)
Library Club (Library)
Students' Council (SC Room)
Temasek Times (Rm 319)
Other Clubs and Societies
Chinese Cultural Club
Green Instinx (now defunct)
Indian Cultural Society
Intellectual Games Club (Rm 222 to 224)
Manga.Anime.Games.Illustrations.Cosplay (MAGIC) club (Rm 319)
Malay Cultural Society
Music & Performing Arts groups
Choir (Recital Rm)
Modern Dance Club
Symphonic Band (Band Room)
(Rooms in brackets after the club is where they hold practices/meetings.)
It is compulsory in TJC to wear uniforms as is in all public schools in Singapore. Our full school uniform is in the shade of a dirty green (there's just no other adjective to describe it any better) and we have to wear the collar pin of our school crest on our left side. The crest is a rounded square with a logo-like letters of "TJC". Girls wear a blouse and skirt (semi-plaited on the left side) while boys wear shirts and long pants. It is only compulsory to wear the full uniform on Wednesday mornings though and we can change into a predominantly white polo tee. The polo tee has black lines going down the sides and has a more up-to-date logo of TJC over the left breast. The uniform goes with canvas or sports shoes and we are allowed to wear ankle socks. But really, who care what socks we wear? On Wednesdays when we sing the College anthem, we have to wear ties.
The PE t-shirt was once a mud yellow to a match a dirty green. But with a new principal who wants a new image to the school (not the mention the students' peititioning for new/alternative kinds of school wear), we now have a black and white mass PE t-shirt. It is akin to the polo tee's style with the new TJC logo. On the back, are the words "Temasek Junior College" (duh). On the sides, instead of just black lines going down the sides, the entires side is coloured in black so that it gives the illusion that the person wearing the shirt is much slimmer than he or she really is. All PDPs too, may have their own t-shirts though some of the smaller clubs often opt not to (or at least ones that do not represent the school or have the need to differentiate themselves in or out of college). Students joining certain workshops/seminars/camps/competitions would also get a t-shirt. This would include the yearly Student Leadership Camps, Temasek Titans competition (an endurance competition), etc. Also, each PDP may have their own collar pins. These are pinned on the right side of the shirt collar (not together with the college pin).
I am not too sure about the teachers' dress code but it goes something like this: No jeans/t-shirts or sports wear (PE teachers are the exceptions but they always change back after lessons). Male teachers have to wear shirts with collars on Wednesday and the school tie. Female teachers do not. Basically, they just dress like they're going to the office.
TJC has many Southeast Asian, Indian and Chinese scholars. I know that the Southeast Asian ones come on the ASEAN scholarship. I am not too sure what the Indian and Chinese scholars come on exactly. They stay in the two hostels at Anglican High and Dunman High. Anglican High is the nearer of the two hostels and within walking distance. Dunman High is much further and those scholars who stay there need to take a bus to and from school. But I am told that the facilities are better at Dunman High so maybe it balances out.
TJC is one of the rare (perhaps the only) Junior College in Singapore to have both a Graduation Night and a Prom Night for Year 1s and Year 2s respectively. Every year, both events are hosted at hotels and/or clubs. Personally, I have avoided Graduation Night in Year 1 and am planning to skip Prom altogether this year. But anyway, like in any Grad Nite/Prom Nite, all party-goers are dressed in their best formal nightwear (but I note that the boys do not go so far as to get a tuxedo). Well, whatever. I'm not too interested in these things anyway. I only thought it was worth a mention.
In Year 1, there are 2 major school examinations in TJC. The first is the June Common Tests (JCTs). The JCTs are a bit of a misnomer when you consider that tests start on the last week of June and, many a year, June days do not fill even half of the week of exams. I suppose if you had spent some time planning and studying during the June holidays for your exams, you would do alright for the JCTs. But, if you are like the majority of the slackers (ie. like me), you would find that the JCTs are abysmally hard and disheartening. But nevermind, there are still the Promotional Examinations next, which is, really the most important one in Year 1. This exam determines whether or not you get 'promoted' to Year 2. If not, you may be retained or have to go to a polytechnic at the end of it. A pass is determined by whether you have passed with 2 'A' level pass and 1 content 'AO' level pass OR a 1 'A' level pass with 2 content 'AO' level pass. As mentioned above, each TJ student must choose at least 3 'A' level subject and study a compulsory 'AO' level subject called General Paper. GP is counted as a content subject and so can be used for a pass in the 'AO' level part of the pass. I am not too sure about whether other 'AO' level subjects are counted but GP definitely can be. You can also get an 'AO' level pass in your 'A' level subjects too. This is because of the peculiar way in which the 'A' levels is graded. The grade below E in 'A' levels is called an 'AO' pass. So, should you get a mark in the 'AO' level range, it is counted as an 'AO' level pass. You don't pass your 'A' levels but you did get a pass in the 'AO' levels. Below the 'AO' grade range, of course, is F which is really no use at all. It'll perhaps earn you a trip to the principals office if you get enough of them.
As for the Year 2s, there are 3 major school examinations which climaxes with the true blue Cambridge 'A' levels. Because after March is a time of great uncertainty for the Year 1s (as they may have to leave the College with the real admission points. I think I would have to deal with the Provisional Admissions and Joint Admissions Excercises separately. Just know that the Year 1s may or may not get to stay in TJC after the March Holidays), they do not have to dubious honour of having to take the March Common Tests (MCTs). Since Year 2s are pretty sure they're already in TJC (but then again, it is only pretty sure as you see next...), they have to go for exams. Wheee... The merits of this exam is rather dubious though. Firstly, the school administrators use it as a gauge to see whether those on conditional promotions are worthy of a 2nd chance. Now, you may say that it's quite reasonable but I'm not too sure it is. This is because, in my opinion, if you screwed up Year 1, you should just get retained and do it again (no, not screw it up again! Do it right this time, duh). This is because you need the foundations set then to cope with even more of the syllabus. There's just too much freaking stuff to learn. Anyway, the first three months are god-damned busy for anyone who has even a passing interest in TJC. There is just no god-damned break for anyone for anything. And on top of that, we have the MCTs. So, just where are we going to have the quality time to study for it anyway? So, for MCTs, just get the minimal pass and heck care about anything else (still, those who are on conditional ought to try their damnest even if I think they should be retained, but anyway). This is so you won't have your teachers breathing down your neck to go for remedial lessons in the 2nd term. It would be a real bitch for that to happen. After the MCTs, things should start to get more settled for the Year 2s (but not by much, I suppose) and we come to our misnomer, the JCTs. I haven't taken the Year 2 JCTs yet so I can't tell you that the teachers are putting the pressure on with full mock 'A' level-style exams and questions on a higher level than those found in actual 'A' level papers. Still, I could probably tell you with some confidence that the Preliminary Examinations are indeed so. It's called the prelims because, in September, it is the last school exams before the big A.
Other TJC Information
Tel: 6442 8066 Fax: 6442 8762
Why I wrote this: For the past year and a half, I've been at this Junior College in Singapore and so when I've found that there's no node of it here at everything2, I thought it would be neat to write about my school. Hope you enjoyed reading about it!