All secondary schools will develop two distinctive programmes by 2017, with the aim of promoting all-round development of their students.
First, schools will offer an applied learning programme to get their students to see the relevance and value of what they are learning.
The second will be the "learning for life" initiative, where students will be involved in activities to strengthen qualities like teamwork and character.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will leave it to the principals and teachers to design their own schemes, but it will help schools link up with relevant industry partners or government agencies, such as the Science Centre, to advise and help them. Speaking to educators at the ministry's annual workplan seminar, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the focus for upcoming years is to create a "distinctive, diversified secondary school landscape".
Another initiative announced is a pilot starting next year that will allow Normal stream students from 12 schools to take subjects they are strong in at the Express level from Secondary 1.
Currently, these students are allowed to do subjects at the Express level only when they reach Secondary 3, depending on their performance. The MOE will roll it out in phases to all secondary schools later.
On the move to replace the PSLE T-score with wider bands, Mr Heng said MOE will allow enough time, over a few years, for schools, parents and students to get used to the idea of the new scoring system before making the change.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.