Six new schools are taking part in this year's Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.
The DSA was launched a decade ago to give schools flexibility to admit students several months early based on their talent in academic subjects, the arts or sports. They can also take into account the students' personal qualities.
This year, 123 schools will take part in the exercise for students moving to Secondary 1 next year, up from 121 last year. Four schools are no longer in the scheme. Singapore has more than 160 secondary schools.
Schools taking part in the DSA exercise offer an applied learning programme, a learning- for-life programme, or both. These were announced last year by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat to help make learning more "authentic" and to develop character and values in students.
The six new schools offer a range of subjects ranging from music to robotics.
Tampines Secondary offers a programme in music, performing arts, visual arts and design while Westwood Secondary, which has also joined the DSA exercise, has a business and entrepreneurship initiative.
Schools taking part in the DSA exercise can accept up to 5 per cent of their Secondary 1 intake who will take part in these specialised activities.
So, for example, a school with hockey as its speciality can accept students who are good at the sport even if they do not meet the academic criteria.
At junior college level, a total of 21 institutions will take part in the DSA exercise.
Students can start applying for direct admission to secondary schools and junior colleges from this month.
Selection exercises for direct admission to secondary schools start in July. Students will be told whether they have been successful when they get their Primary School Leaving Examination results in November.
Applications for the Direct Polytechnic Admission exercise start in June.
More information on the exercises can be found at www. moe. gov.sg/education/admissions.
Students can also visit the websites of the participating schools for more details.
This article was published on May 13 in The Straits Times.
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