College History and Background
Tampines Junior College commenced operations with a pioneer cohort of 698 students and 33 teachers on 11 April 1986 in temporary premises. It was only on 20 December 1986 that it moved to its location along Tampines Avenue 9. Designed by P&T architects, the College received the Best Designed College Building Award for 1988. It was officially opened on 1 July 1988 by then Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Defence) and Member of Parliament for Tampines, Mr Phua Bah Lee.
Under the leadership of founding Principal, Mr Yahya Aljaru, the students and staff formulated a college vision and mission focussed on academic excellence and character development, and launched the development of programmes to achieve these two goals. The close collaboration and synergy between the pioneer students, staff and College management laid the foundation for the TPJCian identity. Each succeeding Principal furthered and enriched this process of development: Mr Lee Kah Chuen from 1993 to 1997, Mrs Susan Chan from 1997 to 2002, Mrs Goh Hwee Choo from 2002 to 2006, Ms Helen Choo from 2006 to 2014 and Ms Pamela Yoong from 2014 to 2018.
Since its founding in 1986, the College, driven by the desire to continually aim higher and achieve more, grew immeasurably. The College mission, “To inculcate excellence of achievement, a passion for learning and a zest for life”, captured the essence of our nation’s Desired Outcomes of Education. The vision, “A Leader in Every Student”, encapsulated the ideal of holistic development through a fully rounded education. The College’s key core values of Responsibility, Integrity, Courage and Humility underpinned these qualities with fundamental moral and communal values. It was upon this foundation that the College set its aspirations and direction.
As the educational landscape became more diversified, students embarked on a journey that sought to develop within them a zest for innovation, a passion for enterprise, and the imagination to be truly creative. The College worked towards the creation of an even more challenging environment of intellectual exchange that would provide greater opportunities for TPJC students to broaden their worldview, grow socially and develop as leaders in preparation for the realities of the globalised economy. The College also continued to rise to the demands of the present and future guided by the unchanging ideal of its motto, ‘Aim & Achieve’.
Mr Yahya Aljaru
Mr Yahya Aljaru founded Tampines Junior College and was its Principal from 1986 to 1992. As the College’s first Principal, he put in place processes that empowered teachers and helped students realise their potential. He was best remembered as a humble and compassionate man who dedicated his life to helping and serving others. By encouraging staff and students to work closely together and to offer views and suggestions to contribute to the progress of the College, he built a close-knit family and nurtured the “kampong spirit” in TPJC. A firm believer in a holistic education, he led the College in developing compassionate young men and women who served their community and put others before self. It was precisely this spirit that guided the College in its vision and mission of serving the community.
Mr Lee Kah Chuen
Mr Lee Kah Chuen opened the College to the growing Tampines community through two Fun Fairs. College spirit and unity were further strengthened as students and staff collaborated well to ensure the success of these ventures. The funds raised from these events contributed significantly to improvements in infrastructure to accommodate the College’s increasing student population.
Mrs Susan Chan
Mrs Susan Chan was a firm supporter of the performing arts groups and under her leadership, the College showcased the many talents of its students. Public performances such as the Malay Cultural Society’s Manifestasi and the College’s staging of The Mikado were instrumental in putting TPJC on the arts map. TPJC was also invited to host the MOE Malay Elective Programme.
Mrs Goh Hwee Choo
Mrs Goh Hwee Choo believed strongly that education was a social leveller. She thus put in place various structures to ensure that students from less privileged backgrounds received the support that they needed. Mrs Goh also directed the creation of a Heritage Corridor to recognise the achievements of students and staff as part of the College’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
Ms Helen Choo
Under Ms Helen Choo’s stewardship, the MOE Drama Elective Programme was started in 2007. Ms Choo placed much emphasis on character and leadership development and hence, strongly supported many Values In Action (VIA) projects, both local and overseas. She was also instrumental in the garnering of support of parents and alumni through the TPJC Partnership Framework.
Ms Pamela Yoong
Ms Pamela Yoong was the sixth and final Principal of Tampines Junior College. Through collaborations with external organisations, parents and alumni, she strengthened the TPJC Ohana (family) spirit and created new opportunities to broaden students’ experiences beyond the classroom. In 2016, as part of the College’s 30th anniversary celebrations, TPJC initiated a tripartite partnership with the North-East Community Development Council and Loyang Tua Pek Kong to embark on a 100,000 km challenge, raising $60,000 to support the lower income families in the North-East district. Ms Pamela Yoong led Tampines Junior College in the merger with Meridian Junior College. On 11 Jan 2018, MOE announced that Ms Pamela Yoong would be the founding Principal of Tampines Meridian Junior College.
Our CAC Chairman
Mr Sim Hong Boon
Mr Sim Hong Boon was the first and only Chairman of the TPJC College Advisory Committee (CAC). Over the years, Mr Sim built a very strong partnership with the principals and staff of the College. Mr Sim, together with other CAC members, initiated awards to support different groups of students and contributed generously to the College by sponsoring many College events such as the annual CAC Dinner for all staff. In addition, he provided internship opportunities to students at his accounting and auditing firm. Staff and students appreciated his humble and approachable nature as he willingly shared his experiences in the private and commercial sectors and advised students on career opportunities in finance and accounting. It was evident that Tampines Junior College had a special place in his heart.
Service to the community was an essential part of TPJC’s mission of producing all rounded students who would be good citizens, conscious of their responsibility to the College, family, society and nation. From the time of its founding, the College organised various projects to raise funds for the less privileged. In 2016, in collaboration with the North-East Community Development Council and Loyang Tua Pek Kong, the College raised S$60 000 for charity as part of its 30th Anniversary Celebrations with a 100000 km Walk/Run Challenge.
Over the years, projects that involved service to the community became part of the College’s Values In Action Project known as Project Ohana (family).
Some of the beneficiaries of Project Ohana were the less privileged in the Tampines area. Overseas Community Involvement Programmes and Overseas Values In Action Projects gave students opportunities to contribute to the less privileged in our neighbouring countries too. TPJCians volunteered their services in Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia by either helping to improve the infrastructure in village schools or teaching the children to read, write and speak simple English. Students also went to Kolkata, India to volunteer at various homes run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. It was indeed the College’s vision and mission to instill in its students the belief that they were all part of a larger family.
Sports and Performing Arts
Tampines Junior College offered a wide variety of Sports and Performing Arts Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) that made for a vibrant College life for students. The Sea Sports Carnival, where students competed in kayaking, canoeing and dragon boating, was one of the highlights of the College’s sporting calendar. Over the years, the College fielded teams for many competitions with various CCAs winning trophies and medals. Some notable achievements were those made by the Chinese Pugilistic Society which distinguished itself at the National Wushu Championships in 2001. Together with other CCAs, the Air Rifle and Rock Climbing Clubs not only showcased students’ talents and skills, but also won several National Championships.
Students from the Performing Arts had many opportunities to shine at public performances and international competitions. There were several outstanding performances such as The Canterbury Tales, the College’s first public production in 1989, the Choir’s annual concert, Plaisir de Chanson, as well as Panorama, a combined Performing Arts concert. Besides achieving the Distinction Award or Gold Award at the Singapore Youth Festival, the Choir also excelled in prestigious international competitions like the Third Musica Mundi International Choral Competition in Germany in 1998. The College Band also performed outstandingly well at the Singapore Youth Festival and in the 4th International Alpine Music Festival Saas Fee in Switzerland in 2001, the Band won a Silver award.
The College also believed that CCA was an important platform to develop character and leadership and conducted programmes like the Leadership Training Camp and Student Leadership Congress, in line with the College’s vision, ‘A Leader in Every Student’.
Academic Elective Programmes
(i) Drama Elective Programme
The Theatre Studies & Drama (TSD) Elective Programme commenced in Tampines Junior College in 2007. Riding on TPJC’s vibrant performing arts culture and environment, the programme saw 26 students in the pioneer cohort and the conversion of the AV Theatrette to the Black Box, which became ‘home’ to many generations of TSDians.
Over the years, under the stewardship of various Programme Directors, the programme’s presence on campus expanded as students held public performances to showcase examination pieces to their peers, teachers and parents. With students of the programme doing well academically, they became proud ambassadors of the demanding yet fulfilling academic programme.
In 2017, the programme celebrated its 10th Anniversary by reaffirming its role in nurturing students anchored in the TSDian Values: Love, Courage, Faith, Truth and Belief. The programme also strengthened its presence within the Singapore Theatre education landscape, playing major roles in building strong partnerships with professional industry stakeholders to nurture future leaders of the vibrant Singapore Arts landscape.
(ii) Malay Language Elective Programme
Tampines Junior College was selected to offer the Malay Language Elective Programme (MLEP) in 2001. The programme aimed to enhance students’ knowledge of the Malay language, literature and culture and provide students with the opportunity to be effectively bilingual.
A wide array of enrichment programmes such as the MLEP Series of Lectures, the MLEP Literature Camp, talks by renowned writers and creative writing workshops engaged students in meaningful activities that improved their language skills and interest in the learning of the Malay language, literature and culture. To provide students with the opportunity to use the Malay language in an environment that promoted an exclusive use of the language, the College organised international immersion trips to Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia. The College also collaborated with the National Arts Council and Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee and schools offering Higher Malay Language to promote the learning and appreciation of the Malay language, literature and culture among students from other educational institutions.
Mr Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir (97S18)
Mr Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir received concurrent and several scholarships to read Law at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and study negotiation at Oxford University. He held numerous appointments both in Singapore and internationally and was recognised for his extensive contribution to the legal field by being presented several awards including the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 2014 and the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award. He set up the TPJC Scholarship which recognised students who excelled in the JC1 Year-End Examinations.
Dr Kelvin Khng (98S01)
Dr Kelvin Khng graduated from the Class of 1999 and was a graduate from the National University of Singapore, Faculty of Dentistry. He obtained his Master of Science degree in Oral Sciences from the University of Iowa, USA. He teaches the undergraduates part-time at the Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore and also lectures general dentists and dental specialists regionally. Dr Khng is also a member, fellow and diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, the President of the Prosthodontic Society of Singapore as well as a member of the Singapore Dental Association. He was appointed as a member of the College Advisory Committee in 2016.
Mr Hishammudin Hasan (87A14)
During his time in TPJC, Mr Hishammudin Hasan (Hisham) represented the College in both English and Malay Language debate competitions. After being an Army Officer, he joined Nestle Singapore, embarking on a 14-year career during which he became the Vice-President of the company at the young age of 29. He subsequently joined two other multinational companies (Mondelez & Danone), taking on regional roles. Hisham was also the Executive Director and Deputy CEO of 7-Eleven Malaysia and was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Central Sugars Malaysia (CSR) in 2018.
Mr Winston Goh Whye-Sen (86S07)
Mr Winston Goh Whye-Sen graduated from the Class of 1986 and was part of the 1st Student Council. As a student, he represented Singapore at the 11th ASEAN Schools Athletics Championship in Thailand. He served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also worked in the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) under the Prime Minister’s Office before subsequently joining the Ministry of Defence in 2014. Winston was a very active alumnus who served as a founding member of the TPJC Alumni Committee. He was appointed as a member of the College Advisory Committee in 2016.
Mr Justin Sng (01S03)
Mr Justin Sng was one of our student leaders who graduated from the Class of 2002 and studied Life Sciences in the National University of Singapore. As an entrepreneur, Justin started his own company, Aquaforce Private Limited, which deals with the maintenance of water pumping systems. Justin was active in supporting the needy students in TPJC through the TPJC Financial Assistance Scheme, and set up the TPJC Alumni Award for Student Leadership.
Ms Liza binte Rahmat (89A05)
Ms Liza binte Rahmat graduated with a Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography and Psychology from the National University of Singapore. She then proceeded to teach Geography and English at Beatty Secondary and was Subject Head (National Education) in 2002 and Head of Department (Pastoral Care and Career Guidance) in 2003. Liza was subsequently the Vice-Principal of Xinghua Primary, Greenridge Primary and Tanjong Katong Primary. In 2012, Liza obtained a Master of Arts (Educational Management) from Nanyang Technological University. In 2017, she was appointed as Principal of Meridian Primary School.
Ms Loretta Yuen (91C09)
Ms Loretta Yuen was appointed General Counsel and Head of Group Legal and Regulatory Compliance in 2010 and Executive Vice-President in 2015. Loretta oversees legal and regulatory risks across OCBC Bank and its subsidiaries, and provides advice on regulatory risks and legal issues involved in management decisions. Loretta has over 17 years of experience in banking and finance. She was conferred the IBF Distinguished Fellow award in 2016, recognising her as a significant role model who serves as a beacon of excellence for the financial industry.
Ms Goh Hwai Kar (94S08)
After graduating with a Bachelor in Accountancy (First Class) and a Master in Business, Ms Goh Hwai Kar joined the aviation industry. In her 17 years of experience with the airport, she has held senior positions in various airport business and operations functions. She was also the Vice-President of the People Services for Changi Airport Group (Singapore), leading the teams in functions spanning across Human Resource, Business Partnership, Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding and Scholarship as well as Workplace Transformation and People Facilitation.
Mr Amrin Amin (95A01)
Mr Amrin Amin graduated from the Class of 1996. He studied law at National University of Singapore and Columbia University in New York. He served in the Students’ Union at NUS and as Class President for his law class. Upon graduation, he worked as a corporate lawyer before becoming the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health and Member of Parliament representing the Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (Woodlands).
updated on 16 January 2019