PSLE results: Shifting focus on scores to learning

PSLE results: Shifting focus on scores to learning

Last year, the Education Ministry (MOE) stopped naming the top scorers in national examinations.

Explaining the move just a day before the release of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results, MOE said it was to redress the over-emphasis on academic results, and shift it to a student's holistic development.

This year, the ministry took it a step further, by not even revealing what the highest and lowest scores were, which had been listed on every pupil's result slip since 1982. Last year, the top and bottom scores were 285 and 43.

Most parents agreed with the move, saying that it will help further ease the level of competition and the stress of the PSLE.

A few disagreed, pointing out that the information will help gauge their children's chances of landing a place in their preferred secondary school.

But MOE maintains the PSLE is simply a "checkpoint" in a student's learning journey, to show how well he has mastered primary-level subjects and identify suitable pathways for secondary education.

On Friday's change in the result slip is only the latest attempt by MOE to make education less of a contest for marks.

Last year, the eight-year-old system of banding secondary schools based on academic results was ended.

Then, in August during his National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the PSLE aggregate scores will down the line be replaced with grade bands so that pupils will not feel compelled to chase that last mark. He also revealed the Direct School Admission system will be expanded to take into account a pupil's character and leadership skills.

The ministry's message was reinforced on Friday when schools released the latest PSLE results.

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