Thank you for visiting the Jurong Pioneer Junior College (JPJC) website and your interest in our college. I am honoured to be appointed as the 2nd Principal of JPJC, bringing with me 21 years of experience from stints in secondary schools, a junior college and the Ministry of Education headquarters. I am humbled and excited to build upon the 4 years of Dr Hang Kim Hoo’s excellent work in bringing two established junior colleges together in 2018, and then leading JPJC to develop its unique brand of JC education. JPJC has certainly catered to the diverse interests and needs of our students to fulfil our college’s mission to nurture a community of active learners, innovative thinkers and compassionate leaders, with confidence for the future.
Similarly, my beliefs in the education of young people rest on recognising their uniqueness as individuals and is best told through the lens of history (I am a trained historian after all 😊). During the 1920s to 1940s, the United States Air Force tried to develop a ‘one-size-fits-all’ fighter plane seat. Engineers spent much time measuring various attributes of existing fighter pilots like height, arm length, hand size and shoulder width, in the hope of arriving at the dimensions of an ‘average’ fighter pilot. When the seat for this ‘average’ fighter pilot was constructed, none of the real fighter pilots fit into it comfortably. Worse still, the rigidity of the seat led to pilot errors and plane crashes. In the 1950s, the Air Force repeated the same process with a much larger population size, hoping to arrive at a more accurate set of dimensions of an ‘average’ fighter pilot. It took a courageous young scientist, Gilbert Daniels, to prove that there was no such thing as ‘average’. From research, he found that none of the existing fighter pilots actually fit into the full set of ‘average’ dimensions that the Air Force had come up with. In fact, he went as far as to say that “it is virtually impossible to find an ‘average’ pilot not because of any unique traits in this group but because of the great variability of bodily dimensions” and any system designed to fit an ‘average’ pilot would doom to fail. This discovery led the Air Force to take a radically different design route, which was to fit the environment to the pilot. Adjustable seats were designed so that pilots could adjust the seats based on their own body size, leading to better performance, flight safety and the use of adjustable seats in other applications.
The above story aptly describes how it is not advisable to design rigid school programmes to fit an ‘average’ student. Rather, dynamic programmes need to be customisable in delivery to cater to the interest and needs of our diverse student population, making the most of the available resources at our disposable. JPJC does this in five ways. Firstly, through the delivery of a quality education. Our JPJC Total Curriculum Framework guides us in recognising that every student is unique and has limitless capacity for growth, igniting joy in their learning towards achieving personal excellence, and looking after their well-being and holistic development. Next, JPJC offers a wide range of programmes for students’ exploration of interests and deepening of knowledge. Our college’s Talent and Leadership Development comprise of 8 pillars that provides a wide range of opportunities to encourage the pursuit of interests: Arts & Aesthetics, Community & Service, Sports, STEM, Arts & Social Sciences, Scholars Development, House and Student Leadership. Thirdly, our vibrant student culture offers over 30 CCAs and interest groups for students to choose from. Throughout the year, there are also fun-filled and meaningful activities such as JP Spotlight that allows students to showcase their talents. Fourthly, we have designed our learning spaces to ensure that students have a conducive learning environment based on their interest. For example, the JPJC Feynman Lab is designed for students to observe and participate in experiential hands-on activities so that they can develop a deeper understanding of Physics concepts. Finally, we are a family! And just like how every member is different in a family, our students, staff, parents and alumni play important roles in relating to one another, such as how alumni mentor our students, through their sharing of personal and career experiences.
Along with my staff, I welcome you as present and potential family members of the college – students, parents, alumni and community partners, to join us to be a college with a heart to serve and the courage to venture.
Mr Kevin Ang
Jurong Pioneer Junior College