Explore, discover and develop areas of interest and strengths.
That is the aim of the Ministry of Education, when it announced changes to the Junior Sports Academy (JSA) programme on Monday.
The two-year JSA programme was set up in 2008 to provide sport-specific training for primary school students who demonstrate sporting potential.
Below are some key changes to the programme which will take effect from this month.
- Under the new system, students will be selected from a year younger, at Primary 4, with an additional window for selection conducted in Primary 5, to allow other suitable students to join the programme. The trial will consist of an evaluation of students' general physical ability, without focusing on any sport-specific skills.
- Pupils will be identified and developed with a broad-based physical sports programme, to strengthen their overall physical competencies and motivation, without focusing on sport-specific skills.
- Students in the programme will be allowed to explore a range of sports to aid them to make a more informed choice of a single sport to commit to from the secondary level and up, with more targeted support from schools and relevant sports organisations at the secondary school level and beyond.
- Enrolled students will undergo a two-year programme in which they will select four sports modules. Each module is conducted once a week over one semester, and followed up with sports-related workshops at the end of the module.
"We are exposing our students to a variety of sporting activities in the primary schools. In that way, they develop a range of general physical abilities... Then when they get into the secondary schools, they can select the sports that they are interested in." - Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, on the Junior Sports Academy programme
This article was first published on April 1, 2015.
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