Good Shepherd Student Care

Our History

In the 1980’s women in Singapore began in earnest to join the workforce, a trend that was happening in most of the developing and developed economies. It was common for women to hold administrative and executive positions, however there were large numbers of women who still worked in low-paying jobs to supplement the family’s income. Women then were also bound to traditional roles of looking after their families despite holding jobs outside of home. Divorce rates crept up and single mothers were forced to fend for themselves and their children. More and more children were left to their own devices after school. As they were given a set of their home keys and let themselves into an empty flat, they became known as “latchkey children”. The lack of adult supervision after school often led to declining school achievements.

Marymount Centre’s Response
In 1982, a before and after school care, Marian Centre was set up in Thomson Road, next to Marymount Convent School to care for children who needed adult supervision and help with homework. Many of the children came from single-parent and low-income households.

As schools morphed into single sessions, and it became a norm for women to join the workforce, the demand for after school care rose. To reflect the services, Marian Centre became Good Shepherd Student Care (GSSC); programmes and activities were streamlined to cater for the care, educational and social development of the more than 100 children who packed into the single-storey old house after school every day.

GSSC in Transit
As a result of the government’s acquisition of the land it sat on, GSSC was relocated to a holding school in Toa Payoh in 2015. Meanwhile, there was ongoing construction of a new integrated building for GSSC in the grounds of Marymount Convent School, in line with the Ministry of Education’s direction for school-based student care centres, aimed at providing safe, structured and conducive environments for children to rest and learn after school.
A New Home
In Dec 2016, GSSC moved into spanking new purpose-built premises in Marymount Convent School to start a fresh chapter, however the mission remains unchanged. Although there are a few students who pay full rates, the majority rely on government subsidies based on means testing. We continue to serve a hot meal to the children when they arrive a few minutes after dismissal, and afternoon tea after completing some supervised homework, as well as provide an array of interesting activities, some with help from volunteers, who may be dedicated individuals or groups of students from polytechnics and junior colleges. For some students, GSSC is the place they feel loved and cared for. For some parents, the staff are their source of help and comfort in their distress, and even in sickness.