'Wisdom of the masses or just plain kiasu?'

'Wisdom of the masses or just plain kiasu?'

SINGAPORE - Curious about the top PSLE scorer this year?

Unofficial sources at parenting website Kiasuparents say it is a Raffles Girls' Primary School pupil who scored 275.

On the Kiasuparents parenting forum, a thread titled Top PSLE t-Score 2013, which was started last Friday when the results were released, has spawned nearly 280 posts.

This year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) decided not to publish the highest and lowest PSLE scores, but this has not stopped people from speculating.

A stay-at-home mother going by the username of Glorymum on the website decided to start the thread to help parents select schools for their children.

"I felt that it is imperative for those involved in this exercise to know their child's standing in the nation so that they will be able to know whether or not their child is able to enter their dream school," she told The New Paper.

Website founder William Toh calls the information "wisdom of the masses".

"It is not our intent to sabotage MOE's effort. Rather we are a platform for parents to share their experiences and make choices based on this info."

MOE also provides information on the T-score ranges of the previous cohort of PSLE pupils posted to each secondary school as a guide to help parents make their decision.

Mr Toh emphasised that top scores reported on Kiasuparents may not be accurate because of the sample size. It all depends on the parents who decide to share the information and there is no information on the top score of every school.

Glorymum, who does not have a child in Primary 6, admitted that collating the top scores was not easy.

"There were a number of parents who were unwilling to reveal the top scores as they fear that their identity may no longer remain anonymous," she said. She collated all the top scores herself.

Parents would share information by sending her a private message or posting on the thread. If the information supplied by a source did not contradict with another one, the score would be updated on the forum.

Parents' decision

The Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, Mr Lim Biow Chuan, said that it is ultimately the parents' decision if they choose to place unnecessary emphasis on PSLE scores.

"The feedback was that the PSLE is stressful and the Government is trying to make it less stressful by not announcing the top scorer and top score."

While he acknowledged that examinations are important, Mr Lim said the PSLE score should just be used as a gauge of whether a child can fit into a school academically.

Nonetheless, Kiasuparent's Mr Toh thinks that the collation of the top scores is "harmless".

"It is human nature. The more you don't want people to know, the more they will try to find out."

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