While many students in Singapore would be familiar with the name Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), fewer would be familiar with its history—from its establishment as a statutory board to its relocation to its current home at Bukit Ho Swee.
Formation of the SEAB
Formerly known as the Examinations Division of the Ministry of Education (MOE), SEAB was established on 1 April 2004 as a statutory board. It was formed to develop and conduct national examinations in Singapore.
After becoming a statutory board, SEAB moved out of the MOE Headquarters building and into a renovated building at Bukit Ho Swee.
Located near the junction of Jalan Ho Swee and Taman Ho Swee, the site was once the home of Bukit Ho Swee East and Bukit Ho Swee West primary schools. Following the Bukit Ho Swee fire in 1961, these two schools were built in close proximity. In 1986, they merged to form Bukit Ho Swee Primary school. The school subsequently merged with several other primary schools and relocated to Redhill in 2002.
Modern Architectural Style
The campus followed the Public Works Department’s 1960s box-frame school design and consisted of two blocks of four-storeyed buildings. Its modern architectural style celebrated the machine aesthetic as a symbol of progress. The buildings had shallow-pitched roofs, supported by large concrete columns and projecting beams.
Functionality was also a key factor in the buildings’ design: the narrow widths of the blocks facilitated efficient lighting and ventilation, and staircases were strategically positioned to improve the vertical connectivity of the campus.
In 2004, SEAB became the building’s newest occupant. In addition to housing its main office, the campus also provided facilities for meetings, briefings and marking exercises, as well as talks, workshops and training sessions. The organisation’s board later obtained approval to redevelop the campus. Demolition works began in 2018, and the new building was completed in March 2020.
The new building combines and houses SEAB’s three existing sites at Bukit Ho Swee, Tiong Bahru Examination Centre and Pandan Examination Centre.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.gov.sg does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of June 2020 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.