BY CHERYL LIM
ALL National Junior College (NJC) students who join the school from this year will get to experience life in a boarding school for at least one term, or 10 weeks, every year.
The boarding school, located beside the junior college at Hillcrest Road in Bukit Timah, was officially opened recently by Education Minister Ng Eng Hen.
The $20-million facility makes NJC the sixth boarding school in Singapore. It boasts 250 rooms capable of accommodating 500 students and teachers.
Its first batch of boarders have been staying there since January, and have participated in many activities.
NJC's vice-principal,Mr Low Chun Meng, told my paper: 'One example of our special boarding programmes is the Night Adventure programme in which the boarders go for night hikes. This is something we could not have done without a boarding school.'
Mr Low said the boarding experience will cultivate the students' maturity.
For example, boarders will have to keep their rooms clean and do their own ironing. For many students, it could well be the first time they perform such chores.
'Some of them do not even know how to switch on a washing machine,' said Mr Low.
'The boarding programme is heavily subsidised by the Ministry of Education. It costs only $67 a month, including accommodation, meals and basic laundry,' he added.
One of the boarders, Ms Laura Tan, 18, said the boarding experience taught her 'how to be independent'.
'Boarding ensures I learn how to enforce my discipline, such as making time to study,' Ms Tan said.
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