Sunday, September 30, 2018

Changes to the education system

I am quite disappointed with the changes proposed by the education minister.

He wants to reduce the stress in education by removing the examination at primary 1 and 2 and reducing the examinations in the later years.

But he wants to keep PSLE as the primary means of determining the educational path of the children.

If we continue with this policy, parents will continue to pressure their children to do well in the PSLE. It will not reduce the stress.

It will probably give more business to the private tuition industry and add more cost to parents. This will put the lower income groups at a bigger disadvantage.

What are my views?

a) Remove streaming at PSLE.
b) Allow students who did poorly to stay back on year, but follow the same syllabus.
c) Offer students the choice of academic or technical subjects, based on their choice and with guidance by parents and teachers.
d) Allow students to select their specialization at upper secondary - science, arts, technical, etc.

I am suggesting that the education system be based on the approach that worked well prior to 1980, i.e. the time when I was in primary and secondary school. There was no streaming.

We also have to improve wages for technical and service wages at the national level, so that students are willing to pursue these choices. The public sector should take the lead in this direction.

Tan Kin Lian

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