Poh Leng YU 0

Singapore | Eunoia | Name Change

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We are a group of former Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) students who are concerned about the name of the new junior college that will house students from our alma mater, along with those from Catholic High School and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School ("New JC name is all Greek to netizens, students"; Dec 31, 2015).

Naming a new school is not easy, but "Eunoia" fails on many counts.

For a start, there seems to be some confusion about the proper pronunciation or what the word actually means.

While the Ministry of Education says "Eunoia" means "beautiful thinking", a quick check on the Internet unveils several other meanings, including "a state of normal mental health" and an abstract term describing the relationship between spouses.

The name of the new JC should reflect or build on the three constituent schools' rich history to provide that sense of continuity for students going from Secondary 4 to the first year in pre-university ("New JC name lacks local relevance, historical context" by Ms Estella Young; Dec 31, 2015, and "'Jubilee' - a JC name that will resonate with S'poreans" by Mr Lee Hin Peng; Jan 4).

St Nicholas and Catholic High are among Singapore's oldest Catholic schools, while SCGS was founded by enlightened Straits Chinese businessmen who were pioneers in promoting women's education.

We strongly urge Acting Ministers for Education, Mr Ng Chee Meng and Mr Ong Ye Kung, to reconsider the name of the new junior college.

- This above letter first appeared in The Straits Times on Jan 5, 2015, It carries 21 signatures

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