Indian students are doing better in exams, especially in mathematics.
But more can be done to bridge the performance gap betwen them and their peers, including doing well in English, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah.
Ms Indranee, who is president of the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA), was commenting on statistics released by the Ministry of Education last week on students' performance in national examinations over the last decade.
Last year, 80 per cent of Indian students taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scored C and above in mathematics compared to 72.4 per cent in 2003. Despite this improvement, 96.3 per cent of Indian students scored C and above in English for the PSLE last year - a dip when compared to the 97.5 per cent who did so in 2003.
Ms Indranee stressed that English is fundamental in doing well for all the other subjects, especially maths and science.
"Our students must have a good foundation in English so that they can understand the complex problems in maths and science, especially when they start post-secondary education," she said.
On the other hand, Indian students have done well in O-level English and Mother Tongue subjects compared to previous years and have done better than the national average which is a commendable effort, she said.
Last year, 91.1 per cent of Indian students taking their O levels passed English, a figure that is higher then the national average of 87.6 per cent.