Parents welcome less stress for kids, but worry about transparency

Parents welcome less stress for kids, but worry about transparency
Just nine places were left in Henry Park Primary School (above) after Phase 2A(2) of Primary 1 registration closed.

SINGAPORE - Parents all around Singapore sat up when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced changes to the present Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scoring system in his annual National Day Rally speech on Sunday.

The present PSLE T-score will be replaced with a banding system similar to the one used in the O and A levels.

The change will only take place in a few years' time, but it has already been met with mixed reactions.

One parent said, "I think it's good and it's moving towards the right direction.

"My daughter just finished her PSLE last year I wish she was born a bit later."

Another person told RazorTV that he preferred the old system as the stress would push students to excel in their studies.

While most of the interviewees told RazorTV that they welcomed the change in the scoring system as it would help to reduce the stress that students face, one also pointed out that parents too will have a breather during the PSLE.

Another interviewee also pointed out that a change in PSLE scoring will also mean that secondary schools will have to change their enrolment process

This may also mean that it might be harder to get into the more sought after secondary schools, leading to more stress.

Another point that resonated with parents was PM Lee's announcement that from next year all primary schools will have to reserve 40 places for children with no alumni or school links.

This year, top schools like Henry Park, Ai Tong and Red Swastika School had less than 30 places for phase 2B and 2C of the Primary 1 registration exercise.

Phase 2B is for parents who volunteer with the school and Phase 2C is reserved for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents without any connection to the school.

An interviewee on RazorTV hailed the announcement as "a good move so that parents do not become too 'kiasu' (afraid of losing) and try to reserve and say that my kids need to be in this top school."

She added that it will help parents who are financially disadvantaged "to enrol their children in a good school as well."

However, she pointed out that 40 may be too little as it would be no more than 1 classroom out of 10, and suggested reserving 20 to 30 per cent of the intake for children with no alumni or school links.

Others interviewed by RazorTV pointed out that it is impossible to have a system that would seem fair to everyone.

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