Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) is Singapore’s independent school with a rich history of over 100 years. The Institution is the culmination of the watershed merger in 2005 between the former Chinese High School (TCHS) and Hwa Chong Junior College (HCJC).
The then Chinese High School (TCHS) was founded by Mr Tan Kah Kee in 1919 to cater to the needs of primary school leavers of the Chinese community in the region. It became the first Chinese-language secondary school in South-east Asia. Entering Singapore’s post-independence era, TCHS was designated by the Ministry of Education (MOE) as one of nine Special Assistance Plan (SAP) Schools in the nation in 1979, before turning independent in 1987.
The former Hwa Chong Junior College (HCJC) was set up in 1974 as the first government-aided junior college offering pre-university education. It offered courses in both the English and Chinese medium before the national restructuring of the curriculum in 1982. HCJC was one of the first junior colleges to offer the Humanities Programme (1980), the MOE Language Elective Programme (Chinese) (1990) and the Bicultural Studies Programme (2005). It also became the first college to turn independent in 2004.
The establishment of Hwa Chong has had a tumultuous history. The then Hwa Chong Junior College (HCJC) was compelled to move a total of seven times in the years following its founding. As sojourners on various borrowed premises, the early generations were confronted with innumerable challenges. Yet, the college went from strength to strength, quickly earning for itself a reputation as an institution with a distinctive and strong school spirit.
Today, the former TCHS and HCJC form the High School and College Sections of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) respectively. Offering the 6-year Integrated Programme (IP), the institution has developed a seamless and broad-based curriculum which aims to develop leaders holistically for the nation. In maintaining its tradition of excellence and recognising diverse developmental pathways, the institution has continued to offer MOE specialised programmes, in addition to the Art Elective Programme (AEP), the school-based Gifted Education (SBGE) and the Science and Math Talent Programme (SMTP).
The Hwa Chong experience is not just about academic excellence. All students undergo a sustained leadership and character education programme which emphasises active citizenry and the importance of contributing to the community. The many local and global service-learning projects spearheaded by Hwa Chong students bear testament to this enduring culture of service.
Today, many Hwa Chong alumni can be found contributing to the nation in many fields – from academia, entrepreneurship, public service to philanthropy.