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Alumni have their say

THE SJI Old Boys' Association is not the first old boys' club to want to have a say in the alma mater's future direction.

As long ago as 1987, Raffles Institution (RI) deferred its decision to go independent after the Old Rafflesians' Association (ORA) and parents raised concerns that the increased school fees following independence would make the school inaccessible to students with working class parents.

RI became independent three years later, but not without reassuring the ORA and the public that deserving students would be offered financial aid if they could not afford the school fees.

Old boys from Victoria School (VS) have also played a key role in the direction the school is taking. The Old Victorians' Association (OVA) protested enough to bring down the proposal for VS to go co-educational in 2005.

The OVA also objected to Victoria Junior College's plans to offer its own six-year co-ed programme which starts from Secondary 1, saying last September that the move would split the Victoria family. That proposal has also been put on hold.

In 2005, plans to rename Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) to Chung Cheng Junior College were also abandoned, following a petition against the move that attracted almost 3,000 signatures from NYJC students and alumni.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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