Straits Times, Sept 3, 1989
By Rohaniah Saini
THE Government will introduce legislation
by the end of the year to pave the way for
government schools to go independent.
Education Minister Dr Tony Tan said last
night that this was being done because more
schools are expected to become independent in
the coming years.
The new law would provide the legal
framework for this. Dr Tan said it would be
passed in time for Raffles Institution to go
independent in January. It will be the first
government school to do so.
The legislation would provide guidelines
for the board of governors of a government
school going independent to manage the school
and employ teachers.
Dr Tan said that at present, premises
occupied by government schools and the
employment of their teachers are under the
jurisdiction of the Education Ministry.
The five aided schools which have gone
independent -- Anglo-Chinese School, Chinese
High School, St Joseph's Institution,
Methodist Girls' School and Singapore Chinese
Girls' School -- had less need for the
guidelines in the new law as they had more
autonomy in their management, he added.
In his speech earlier, Dr Tan sounded a
note of caution to any school going
independent: The "critical
requirement" is to find dedicated and
committed people to serve on the board of
governors to work with and support the
principal's educational programme.
As more schools turn independent,
"schools will start to develop their own
identities and modes of operation. Teachers
will find teaching to be more satisfying and
rewarding. The result will be a better
education for our children and better
citizens for Singapore," Dr Tan said.
Dr Tan noted that the progress of the five
independent schools had been encouraging.
"The five schools have pioneered
several innovations to improve the quality of
educational programmes in their
schools," he said.
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