Taking the PSLE is one memory that many Singaporeans can remember as part of their childhood. It is, after all, the main reason why we were stuck in remedial lessons, tuitions and endless homework and assessment books for (almost) the entirety of our primary school life. Fit in the parent-teacher meetings, the screaming and nagging of your mum and you know we had a blast. Literally.
The national exam, which marks that end of primary school education, is used as a benchmark of students’ performances. After which, these grades are used to get a spot in their desired secondary school.
What PSLE really means to Singaporeans
While most people outside Singapore would have wondered: c’mon, they’re only twelve. What’s the point of stressing them so early in life? They will come to understand our irrational behaviour when they understand what PSLE really mean to us Singaporeans, or at least our parents.
It was said that your scores in PSLE determine your life, and it’s true to a huge extent.
Get into gifted program? You’re guaranteed at least a well-paying job (or an iron rice bowl) in life. Get into the Express class? You can go into JC, then University before getting a managerial position at a company. Get into the Normal stream? You can enter polytechnics, and either go on to the university of come out to work at the executive level. So on and so forth.
This trend has proven largely true with the exceptions of a few hardworking individuals (and honestly, the number has been increasing as well), and this is probably part of the reason why parents are pushing their kids so hard at such a young age.
MOE to change the format of PSLE
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that by 2021, the current format for the PSLE which uses T-scores to determine results, will be replaced by a wider scoring bands, similar to those used for the O & A’Level examinations.
Purpose of the change
MOE explained that by doing a revamp, they hope that this will allow students to have a much more holistic (all-round) education as opposed to textbook-focused students.
In addition, they wish to make PSLE a less stressful affair for students who are often subjected to competition against their peers using exam scores.
Reactions to the change
There were mixed reactions to the announcement: while some parents are happy and relieved that their kids will be under lesser stress when it comes to taking the PSLE, there were parents who are not as happy.
They are worried on the repercussion this will have on the Secondary School Posting system and whether this will affect their children’s admission into their desired secondary school.
MOE has addressed these concerns by explaining that the revamp will also look into various other factors that affect student admission into Secondary One.
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