SINGAPORE - I applaud the Education Ministry for leaving out the highest and lowest scores on Primary School Leaving Examination result slips ("PSLE results won't show highest or lowest scores"; last Wednesday), to stop parents and schools from pushing children to chase after marks.
Education is about gaining knowledge and developing abilities. Children should be benchmarked against what they are capable of achieving, instead of what their peers can achieve.
Those who are more capable should be allowed to pursue subjects at a higher level. Those who are less capable should be given the chance to learn at a slower pace and catch up at a later stage when they are ready.
Education is also about developing a child's character, for instance, instilling resilience, determination and perseverance in him.
I am also glad we are moving towards naming pupils who have overcome hurdles, such as disadvantaged family backgrounds and medical conditions, to do well. It is their efforts and determination that set them apart from others.
In this globalised world, Singapore can remain competitive if we have an education system that is, in the words of the late United States President John F. Kennedy, "the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation".
Ng Yan Ling (Ms)
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