Pioneer Junior College was established in 2000 and was located first at Science Centre Road before locating to its current location at Teck Whye.
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Where work and play gel together seamlessly
Many have advised that JC life wasn’t something you’d remember much about because you’d be to busy studying for A Levels. However, Pioneer Junior College (PJC) has debunked that belief for myself.
I remember walking into the school with the perception that teachers were harsh, and the principal was like the Empress Dowager you wouldn’t want to have to meet with. Contrary to my beliefs, my teachers took the time to understand me as a person and talked to me like we were friends. We shared gossips and talked about pretty much anything under the sun. It was also my teacher who made the effort to talk to my friend and I about the reason behind our falling out, hence helping us to understand better about each other’s problems and eventually reconciling our friendship. The Empress Dowager turned out to be a caring one who took the time to talk to students and understand their needs. It wasn’t uncommon to see her laughing with the rest of us at the canteen, even participating in carnivals that she organized for students to help us deal with academic stress.
I also remember my friends discouraging me from taking up General Studies in Chinese (GSC) when we had to choose our subject combination as they felt that General Paper (GP) was not an easy subject by itself, and I had to be nuts to do a similar subject in Chinese, a language they felt to be difficult. It was a time when I felt most conflicted as I’ve always been told that Chinese is my strength, as well as writing, but I didn’t want to feel ostracized by my friends for picking up GSC. It was eventually my teachers who encouraged me to do a subject I was confident in. In addition to that, they helped me overcome my fear for Math, and I grew to enjoy solving every problem thrown at me.
Subjects also became alive for me, especially English Literature and GP, reason being that teachers brought real-life issues into the classroom and tied them with themes that we discuss during lessons. Even until today, I am very interested in issues to do with discrimination, and nothing fascinates me more than gender issues (such as feminism) and racial issues.
Night study hours were not the usual boring revision sessions that I heard my friends from other schools complaining about. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to shower and having all three meals in school. Both teaching and non-teaching staff would distribute food and drinks to students in the evening, ensuring that nobody had to literally eat their books because they were starving. When anyone became disinterested or too tired, a teacher would sit with him/her and revise together with him. Sometimes they would engage in gossips just to keep us awake, before leaving us to continue with our revision. The teachers are so determined to help, I remember my PE teacher trying to help my friends and myself with a Math question even though he hadn’t touched Math in years, because we couldn’t find an available teacher for help. We ended up joking and laughing about his JC years.
My time with PJC was one of the most enjoyable during my school years and it was there that I felt for the first time a school that really emphasizes on “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”!
PJC is a college that is way much different from any other colleges. Why do I say so? I'm going to share with you my personal experiences and you will understand why do I claimed it to be so special. I used to step into this school sharing the same mindset as any other ordinary students who dragged their feet to school everyday - School is always so BORING! However, things did not turn out as how I thought it would be. It first started of with orientation. My orientation period is much longer as compared to other JC, in fact, I've never heard of any JC that held a 2 weeks long of orientation except for my school. Many of my JC friends told me that they only had 3-4 days of orientation period and they were all envious of me. Besides that, I'm able to better understand and get along with my classmates due to the longer time period that I've spent with them during orientation. The orientation period was way too fun, in fact, crazy! The seniors organised so many interesting and engaging activities that made each and every one of us so fully participated and engrossed. The most memorable activity was the night hunt where every class has to work as a team to break riddles, solve ridiculous questions and do the most embarrassing stuffs and collect as many 'treasures' as we could so as to win the game.
Moving on to the most stressful period which is non-other than preparing for examinations. While everyone is busy preparing for their tests and examinations, my vice-principal would never forget to leave a day or two for us to relax whereby he will request the school committee to organize fun fairs, sports carnivals or even to hire a few stalls over to our school which sell Ramly burgers and Stickys so as to allow the students to have a little break from all the massive and endless homework and revisions. Personally, I find these actions really sweet and warm knowing that all these ideas came from a male vice-principal. From what I heard from my JC friends, all they do everyday is to study and it literally makes them go crazy. Hence, this is also what makes my school such a lively place.
Through all these, I can simply say that PJC not only just focuses on acadamic results but also the well-being of the students, especially the fact that they want students to have great and fun experiences throughout their course of JC and this is also what makes me so in love with my school such that I'm willing to stay the whole day there even though there's nothing for me to do!