Tuesday, July 28, 2009

baharuddin vocational institute

I think I‘d better leave it to our retired teacher, YG to blog about this bit of history and not confuse readers with my speculations.

i take this as my assignment from my blogger friend chun see. he wondered where baharuddin vocational institute was in this blog entry. however, i have managed to put together a sketchy account of the history of this place. maybe, someone else can help?

i remember baharuddin vocational institute because some of my former colleagues, who were technical teachers, attended some up-grading courses at bvi. but i do not know enough of it to write about its history.

fortunately, there is the internet.

baharuddin vocational institute actually started in borrowed premises before moving into its own building in 1970. it was to be called queenstown vocational institute but was eventually renamed baharuddin vocational institute in 1968.

it was the first and only vocational institute to offer manual and applied arts courses. when it operated from kim keat vocational institute (kkvi), it was offering courses like graphic design and dressmaking. in 1979, when it had its own buildings at stirling road, it offered 5 design courses at indstrial trade certificate (itc) level.

iskandar jalil, the reowned sculptor, taught at bvi and later at temasek polytechnic's school of design.

some of bvi's more well-known alumnis include zoe tay, who studied design and seetoh k f (of makansutra) was once a student of photography at bvi. there are also some graduates of the institute who have become very successful in the fashion and design industry but i am not well acquainted with their names.

could the name baharuddin vocational institute (bvi) have been adopted from the baharuddin vocational secondary school which was located at nearby commonwealth close?

in fact, in the 60s, there were at least 12 vocational schools (secondary) and one vocational institute. how many of them can you name? here is the list:

baharuddin vocational school, bukit ho swee vocational school, dunearn secondary vocational school, geylang serai vocational school, hwi yoh vocational school, kim keat vocational school, mattar west secondary vocational school, mountbatten secondary vocational school, ponggol vocational school, tanglin secondary vocational school, thomson secondary vocational school, toh tuck vocational school and the vocational institute was the singapore vocational institute.

in the days before streaming, those who did not make the grade in the psle (primary school leaving examination) were posted to vocational school where the boys learned woodwork and metalwork while the girls picked up skills in home economics and type-writing.

technical schools like balestier hill technical, dunearn hill secondary technical, kim seng technical, queenstown secondary technical, serangoon garden secondary technical, tanglin secondary technical, tanjong katong secondary techncial and upper serangoon technical admitted those who passed the psle.

thee were also some primary schools which were vocational schools. these were bedok boys vocational, bukit batok east vocational, kaki bukit primary vocational and telok paku vocational school.


Luke said...

Hi YG,

My name is Luke, and I stumbled across your blog recently.

Currently I am conducting a research on baby boomers use of Internet and computing devces and I hope you can help.

If you don't mind could you contact me at lukester.goh@gmail.com.

nah said...

In the early years, vocational schools and institutes have undergone rapid changes in response to the needs of industry and school leavers.
Baharuddin Vocational School closed its doors in 1969, when it merged with New Town Secondary School which started as an integrated secondary school. After the merger, Technical Education began in the school. Today, the premises of the two schools are used as a holding school. The last school to use the premises was Clementi Town Sec. Sch.
Baharuddin Vocational Institute (BVI) was absorbed by Temasek Polytechnic (TP) in 1990, followed by ITE Bukit Merah (Campus 2) and Queenstown Vocational Training Centre. Today, the premises are occupied by MDIS University Campus.
Incidentally, Singapore Vocational Institute (SVI) which was originally established as Balestier Trade School at Balestier Road, became Singapore Technical Institute. Then, in 1992, the institute was renamed as ITE Balestier. With the restructuring of ITE in 2001, it was renamed as ITE West (Balestier). Today, it is known as ITE College West (Balestier Campus).

Lam Chun See said...

Looks like the name changes were even more frequent than I thot.

Anonymous said...

Baharuddin Vocational Institute was a reputed Design school. During the good old days both overseas and locally, everybody knew for Design in Singapore it had to be from Baharuddin. It practically started the creative industry of Singapore then. By the way, makansutra seetoh studies Advertising Art in BVI, but he knew he is better off in photography than in the ability to design. A very much practical choice of no other choice for him. Anyway, up till today in UK and USA, many top design schools still hold high regards of BVI graduates. It is indeed an established brand in the creative design industry worldwide. Singapore should be proud of BVI. That was all history.

Sng Chye Leong said...

How about Bukit Merah Vocational Institue in the year 70's.where we had inter V.I.soccer tournaments.
Former B.M.V.I, CLASS: DSD 7/75Heavy Duty Diesel Mchanics

JustJim said...

BMVI was quite a well-known Institution in Lengkok Bahru. Anyone who walked into the compound would not miss the large 1 metre high "BMVI" above the porch. Also there was the first digital clock right infront of the office. I was told that when the workers were digging the earth to install the clock they hit a wooden coffin and they refused to continue work for the day. Thereafter, the clock gave the authorities endless problems not to the mention the inaccurate digital display that confused the the neighborhood residents.

Edwin Kwan said...

Can anyone let me know how I can contact ex- VITB or ITE Lecturers of the 1980s and 1990s ?