Boys will join the school from next year

brown march in
Canossa Convent Brownies marching in with the new school flag.

Jared Ng

Nov 13 was a historic occasion at Canossa Convent Primary School as it marked its last thanksgiving celebration as an all girls’ school.

From next year the school in Sallim Road will be going co-ed after 77 years.

Canossa Convent Primary students were joined by students from Canossaville Pre-School and Canossian School for the hearing impaired, together with the teachers, staff, and Canossian Sisters in embracing this last phase of the school’s journey.

Both Canossaville Pre-School and Canossian School for the hearing impaired are co-ed schools. The predecessor of Canossaville Pre-School was Magdalene’s Kindergarten, also co-ed, which started in 1972. Canossian School for the hearing impaired started in 1956.

Acknowledging that some may be sad that this phase of the school was coming to a close, Redemptorist Father Clement Lee encouraged all present “to look forward to the changes ahead” and to thank the Lord for the blessings which will come next year. Speaking at the Mass, he asked everyone to pray for peace amid the upcoming changes.

To mark the switchover, a flag ceremony was held in which the current school flag was replaced by the new flag. Principal Eugenie Tan said the only change to the new flag is the school’s new name, Canossa Catholic Primary School.

Items such as the old school flag, newspaper clips announcing the school going co-ed, the student report book and exercise book, and class photos, were placed in a time capsule which is to be kept in the school’s heritage gallery.

A heartfelt moment was shared as all present sang the school song as one.

lee bless mass
Redemptorist Father Clement Lee blessing a student at the thanksgiving Mass.

The announcement on the school going co-ed was made in January this year. Canossian Sister Theresa Seow, in an interview then with Catholic News, said the aim was to “move with the times and to respond to the needs of the community”.

Some of these needs include catering to parents and their sons, living in the MacPherson-Aljunied area, who are affected by the merging of MacPherson Primary School and Cedar Primary School. Going co-ed will also cater to newer estates around the area, such as the upcoming Bidadari estate.

Besides, “many of our Canossian schools abroad have already gone co-ed, like in Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Timor Leste and Italy,” said Sr Theresa.

Boys are expected to make up 40 percent of the school’s Primary 1 cohort next year.

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