by Chua Jun Yan (13A01A)
This morning, Principal Mrs. Lim Lai Cheng announced at a media conference that RI will get its very own Home Economics Institute, Raffles (HEIR) in the third quarter of 2013. This follows the successful roll-out of the EW Barker Institute of Sports, the Raffles Leadership Institute, and the Raffles Science Institute.
Explaining the rationale for the latest initiative, Mrs. Lim explained, “We have been tracking the marriage and fertility rates of ex-Rafflesians for the past 5 years. There has been a noticeable drop of over 70% in the number of graduates finding their significant other.”
The school has started a nationwide search for a Dean to lead the new institute, together with two or three specialists in the field. To be funded by the 1823 Fund, the institute will be housed at the current Humanities Programme block, which will be re-painted.
Once fully operational, the institute will provide enrichment programmes in cooking, sewing, cleaning and child-rearing to Year 5 students during Protected Time. Unlike external programmes, which tend to teach practical skills, the Institute will focus on the fields of “differentiated research, thought leadership, and household administration and psychology”. Elite students who successfully complete the course will receive a Distinction in the new Life Skills Development Domain of the Raffles Diploma.
In addition, the Institute will also run an Intensive Core Remediation Programme for selected Year 5 students during the school holidays. Those who require the additional support will be identified by their Civics Tutors.
Members of the Rafflesian community have responded positively to the announcement. Parent of a Year 5 student, Mrs. Mary Low told us, “I am so relieved that the school is doing something in this regard. The formal accreditation process will ensure that my son is marketable to potential spouses.”
Civil servant Mr. Tan Keng Meng, who graduated from RJC in 2006, also wrote in to say that he was pleased that RI was “furthering the national direction articulated in the Population White Paper, and heeding MOE’s calls to move away from an excessively academic education.”
It is expected that the Institute will be officially launched at RI’s 190th Founder’s Day in July.
To find out more about the Institute, visit http://www.ri.edu.sg/homeeconsinstitute