For the first time in 30 years, the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results to be released on Friday will not include the highest and lowest scores achieved by pupils in the cohort.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is leaving those scores out on the result slips from now on, said a ministry spokesman.
The PSLE "serves as a checkpoint of a student's mastery of primary-level subjects and identifies suitable pathways for secondary education", so it is not necessary to know the other scores, said the spokesman.
Each candidate's own aggregate score, as well as the highest and lowest scored that year, has been on result slips since 1982. Last year, the top and bottom scores were 285 and 43.
When asked if MOE encouraged schools to celebrate their own top scorers, a spokesman said schools would continue to recognise those who had done well, "but not just in academic results".
Last year, the ministry ended the practice of naming the top scorer in the PSLE. Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a blog post then that it was unhealthy to have such national focus on PSLE.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also announced in August that pupils will in time get a grade band instead of aggregate scores for the PSLE to reduce the stress and competition over results.
Parents and educators commended the ministry's move to de-emphasise such competition.
Housewife Jasmine Sng, 47, who has a son in Primary 6, said: "If your child did not do so well, knowing these scores may not be good for his self-esteem."
South View Primary principal Jenny Yeo agreed. "If parents and pupils cannot change their mindsets that they need to get better results than their peers and go to a top school, then maybe this will alleviate stress for them."
Government Parliamentary Committee for Education chairman Lim Biow Chuan said the message was not to compare results but to focus on one's own achievement.
Pupils may obtain their result slips from their schools from 11am onwards on Friday. Secondary 1 postings will be out on Dec 20. Pupils who can take a third language in Sec 1 will have the option of taking Spanish next year.
Spectra Secondary, a new school for Normal (Technical) stream students along with Crest Secondary, will take its first students next year. Students eligible for the Normal (Technical) course should apply directly to either school from Nov 22 to 26. More information is on the schools' websites at www.crestsec.edu.sg and www.spectra.edu.sg.
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