The old Toh Tuck Campus of Millennia Institute used to be the premise of dysfunctional Toh Tuck Secondary School which was closed down in 1991 due to low intake of students.
After that, it was vacant for a couple of years before Jurong Institute, one of the Centralized Institute moved into the premise in 1995 from their original location, the current Juying Secondary School. Centralized Institutes were set up to cater to the needs of students who would like to take up A level course at a 3 year program apart from 2 years which the Junior Colleges are doing.
However Centralized Institute program became less popular with more students opted in for a more tertiary education – The Polytechnics. Therefore many closed down and eventually left with Jurong and Outram Institute. In 2003, the two schools finally merged into Millennia Institute with 2 different functional campus.
I went into Millennia Institute (MI) in the year 2004 after failing my E-Maths in O Level and didn’t want to go into Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Partly, I felt that I could not blend into the ITE culture of the Bengs and Lians at that time that the other alternative would be to take an A level course so that hopefully I can do a Bachelor Degree in NUS.
I guess the reason why most MI graduates during my time (I do not know now) did not go to local universities because our grades in O level was not comparable to JC students. My sister who was getting a aggregate of 6 in O levels eventually made it to NTU studying in JJC.
So because I went into the school in March 2004, I did not join the orientation and being 2 years older than most of my classmates, I felt kind of hard to blend in. But thank god, I still managed to keep some of my friends in close contact.
The school compound was built in the 1960s did not undergo major upgrading like other schools. Probably because it was used as a temporary location to house schools that undergo the Prime Program.
After Millennia Institute moved to their new campus in Bukit Batok in 2007, the Old Toh Tuck Campus became the temporary school building for Bukit Batok Secondary School for the next 2-3 years before it was again abandon. It is not sure whether the government will demolish the school compound to make way for new condominium establishments or for other purpose. But the kampong style of the building still very much remains notslagic in my mind.
The school has quite a big field which we spend 2 hours of Physical Education per week to keep fit. I believe the field was even bigger before Bukit Timah Primary School building stands there.
During raining days, it is almost impossible to hear anything from our teachers during lessons because of the zinc roof especially if your classroom is on the 4th level. I was lucky that in my final year, our class was one of the few that shifted to an air-con room.
From the bus stop, I took a picture of the car park and block A. Level 1 of Block A used to be the Staff Room and Dance Studio and Level 2 is all the computer labs. I remember during Year 2, we spent quite some time in computer lab revising for Year 3.
The side of the 2nd photo used to be the fish pond which many teacher student counselling session was held there. It was very therapeutic sitting there in the afternoon especially you have a long day. Some lessons days can stretched up to 5.30 pm.
I think if camera phone was available at that time, I would have taken many photos of the school at that time. I guess if we turn back time, I might not have entered MI and would have work and do a part time diploma. But this is a part and parcel of life. Eventually, I did earned my bachelor degree after graduating from MI, 9 years later. This place holds both sweet and bitter memories.