MORE secondary school students will get to do art and music from next year.
By 2019, more than 2,000 will benefit each year from specialised programmes in these areas, up from nearly 1,500 students now.
The two-year enhanced art and music programmes will also be extended to 13 schools, up from the current six.
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School, for instance, will offer the music programme next year, while New Town Secondary School will feature art in 2017. The schools can get government funding and resources to prepare their students to do art and music subjects for their O levels.
In addition, more students will get to join art or music elective programmes. These four-year programmes offered by 17 secondary schools are more in-depth, so students can take higher art and higher music at the O levels.
National Junior College will serve as a centre for the Art Elective Programme, while Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Dunman High School will be centres for the Music Elective Programme.
From next year, they will accept students from other schools into these programmes.
Secondary 1 Express students can apply through their schools in January next year. Shortlisted students will go through a selection test and those who are successful will start lessons from the second school term in March.
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a statement yesterday: "With more schools offering the art and music programmes, talented students do not have to travel as far to enrol in these programmes."
The ministry said the expanded programmes are part of efforts to hone diverse talents in students.
Naval Base Secondary School student Bazil Basyar, 14, hopes to join his school's Enhanced Art Programme, which will run from next year.
"I enjoy painting and using different mediums in art, like pencil or graphite, and three-dimensional art like sculpture," said the Secondary 2 student.
"I want to pursue my passion and do art in the future. I hope to be an art teacher."
Naval Base Secondary principal Sulaiman Mohamad Yusof said the new programme will give students more exposure to the arts.
The school, which is strong in art, has for the past 12 years been sending students abroad - to places such as Finland and France - to learn more.
It intends to introduce a digital art programme and expose students to careers in the arts, including fashion design and product design, through work attachments.
More schools getting on board
Schools to run the Enhanced Art Programme (EAP)
Naval Base Secondary (2016)
Orchid Park Secondary (2016)
Siglap Secondary (2016)
Jurong West Secondary (2017)
New Town Secondary (2017)
Schools to run the Enhanced Music Programme (EMP)
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary (2016)
Yuhua Secondary (2017)
Existing schools offering EAP or EMP
CHIJ Katong Convent
Nan Chiau High School
Ngee Ann Secondary
St Andrew's Secondary
Chung Cheng High School (Main)
St Margaret's Secondary
This article was first published on May 28, 2015.
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