SINGAPORE - From next year, Normal stream students at a dozen selected schools who scored at least an A in a subject in the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) will get to take it at the Express level from Secondary 1.
Announcing this on Thursday, the Education Ministry (MOE) said the move was to better cater to a student's strengths. It hopes to provide this option to students in all secondary schools by 2018.
For a start, the initiative will be piloted at these secondary schools: Ang Mo Kio; Bedok Green; CHIJ St Joseph's Convent; CHIJ St Theresa's Convent; Jurong; Jurong West; Pei Hwa; Ping Yi; Presbyterian High, Queenstown; St Patrick's and Unity.
Said Mr Abdul Mannan, principal of Ang Mo Kio Secondary, where each cohort has about 80 Normal (Academic) students, and 40 in the Normal (Technical) stream: "These students may not have achieved a high overall T-score for PSLE, but if they scored well in a certain subject, they should be able to cope with it at a higher level." He added that by allowing Normal stream students to take subjects at Express level, "they may be more motivated to do well and will not lag behind their peers in the Express streams in so many subjects".
The scheme was first revealed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in August's National Day Rally in a bid to "give students the flexibility to learn each subject at their own pace", he said. On Thursday, the MOE gave details on how the scheme will work during the pilot period, giving it a chance to review the initiative before rolling it out to all schools.
Before, only upper secondary students in the Normal stream were allowed to take subjects at a higher level. But from next year, Sec 1 students in the 12 schools' Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams will be allowed to study the subject at the Express level, if they had scored an A or A* for the PSLE.
Normal (Technical) students with a B or C grade for a subject at PSLE will get the choice to study it at the Normal (Academic) level. If they had taken subjects at the foundation level in PSLE, they must achieve grade 1 - 85 marks and above - to be able to pursue them at the Normal (Academic) level.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.