National Junior College (NJC) is set up in 1969 by MOE as the first junior college and is located along Dunearn Road.
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I just had to give NJC a 5 for Service. After all, the motto is Service With Honour. Being a student of NJC, the most popular misconception that I have had to deal with is that we are muggers. Mugger is an affectionate term given to those students who study all day long and truly immerse themselves in their books. I don't know about earlier batches of students, but even in school, I find that this misconception simply does not hold. We study hard yes, but it's also very common to see students goofing about and doing anything under the sun except studying.
Many people also see NJC as a Hwa Chong and Raffles reject place, but I am still proud to be a student from NJC. Being in the first ever 6-year IP batch, I have grown to be extremely fond of this sometimes frustrating school, and only I can insult my own school. Even though the school administration makes befuddling decisions sometimes, I can attest to the quality of the teachers and the love and care that they have for us. I can feel that they are sincere and genuine in wanting to teach us, and that really makes me feel touched and happy.
I could have gone to Hwa Chong or Raffles. But I made the decision to enter NJC back in 2009 on its first-ever 6-year IP. Do I regret it? Not one bit.
One thing that stands out for certain at National Junior College would be the diverse mix and blend of students. Although many people might associate the top 4 Junior Colleges in Singapore to have an 'elitist' culture, National Junior College is the exact opposite. Instead, the people there are down-to-earth, realistic and (I would say) generally quite authentic. The NJC culture lies in the opportunity each and every student has to interact with other students from different walks of life.
Another aspect of NJC that I really treasure would be the amount of exposure they give us. The aesthetics programme is not only carefully and meticulously planned to give us an appreciation for the arts, the programme is also factored in to let us relax and rewind after a long day's stress. The cultivation of love for the arts allows one to better understand other cultures and practices as well.
Notwithstanding the initial complaints of many students, the Boarding Programme is definitely unique to NJC. Being the first school to have started a compulsory boarding programme, it is indeed an 'attraction' not to be missed! The joy and laughter shared with your peers are the memories of a lifetime.
You will excel!
Prestigious education and dedicated teachers with civics class to give additional career guidance. The student councilors elected by us also cater to our needs closely. I still remember one of the quotes given "If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill".
However, elitism is practised in school. I always thought that the school's Integrated Programme (IP) students resulted in mainstream students like me not being able to mix well with them. It is just that we had different schooling experiences previously and probably it was the catalyst to NJC being like two separate schools where IP students had their own school activities and more involved in them than mainstream students.
Just the happier things.
My secondary school experience in NJC was no doubt fulfilling, of course there were ups and downs but I took them in my stride. I am a food and photography fanatic, no doubt I would broach the subject of the food there! We have a total of 11 stalls to choose from everyday, and the prices are cheap to boot! Imagine feasting on a plate of American Breakfast and sipping a cup of aromatic coffee, all these just for under 3 bucks! Out of the 11 stalls, from Indian to Japanese cuisine, my favourite would have to be western cuisine. Serving delicious mains from pork chops to panfried fish fillet slathered in a rich sauce, they are coupled with an array of sides you can choose from. Every Wednesday, they serve up fried food, their Nacho Chicken Cutlet is the bomb! Think creamy cheesy sauce slathered on a thick, crispy and juicy chicken breast fillet, I could have it everyday!
For those who have not entered secondary school or JC, fret not, your time there would be a good and fulfilling one where you can enjoy the food and fun of the everyday life with the company of your friends. Not only would you learn how academically, you would also gain some soft skills (eg. leadership) which may prove you useful in the future.
Life can get really Gray
I attended National Junior College for the Integrated Programme and I felt that the education provided was really diverse and versatile and I really enjoyed it a lot. We had about 11 different subjects at each time, each with very unique names like “light to life” and “man and ideas” so sometimes you were not even sure what were the exact subjects you were studying.
Our classrooms were really vibrant compared to the normal classrooms because we had brightly coloured long tables where we could sit with our friends and not feel a sense of separation. We also had special IP glass labs that were really sophisticated in design, with the full glass doors and air conditioning inside. At that time all these experiences were new to me as I did not have air conditioned classrooms before.
We also had the opportunity to do a lot of exciting science work such as dissections of animal hearts and eyes, as well as learn about deep sea creatures. I felt that the range of studying subjects was unique and fun.
As I moved on to the JC part, life became much more mundane because the lessons became standard and boring. The teachers were not that great as well so I did not really enjoy myself anymore. Since most people enter during JC, I suppose it might be a very boring place to most and we also have the image of being a "mugger" school, which I believe to be quite accurate.