The current Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) T-score system will be scrapped and be replaced by a new system with wider scoring bands -similar to the O- and A-Levels’ – from the 2021 Primary 6 cohort (or those in Primary 1 this year), announced Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng on 8 April.
This means that PSLE grading will not be based on how pupils do relative to their peers, as it is now, Mr Ng explains, adding that the hope is that this will encourage students to focus on their own learning rather than competing to do better than their peers. Today, there is a deeply ingrained mind-set that the PSLE is a very high-stakes exam. Many perceive that a child’s PSLE T-score at the age of 12 determines his or her success and pathway in life.
According to Mr Ng, “With the move to broader PSLE scoring bands, students will be able to choose a school that is a good fit for them from a wider range of schools of a similar academic profile. In doing so, students can consider factors such as the school’s distinctive programmes, CCAs, and partnerships with the community and industry, and better match these factors with their interests.”
How Do Parents Feel About This?
“My son is sitting for his PSLE this year and I fully understand the stress both the parent and child goes through in this period. The pressure to do well is real, but I am glad to know that measures are being taken to ease this process, as it gives children more options to decide on their secondary and tertiary education paths,” says Amira Raja, property agent and mother of two.
Another father we spoke to shared how the new move is good news for his wife and his twin daughters who are Primary 1 this year.
“The new grading system will be good for my daughters. Why I say it’s good is because I am one of those parents who strongly believe in allowing my children to pursue their own likings and interests, so lessening the competitive environment they face in school will definitely encourage them to do their best without feeling like their second-best as compared to other classmates who do better,” expresses Mr Alvin Toh, engineer and father of three.
As reported by The Straits Times, The Ministry of Education (MOE) will take the next few years to develop and test the new exam and secondary school posting systems. The posting system will still be a fair and transparent system based on academic merit. More details will be revealed in the next two to three months.
What are your thoughts on the revamped grading system? Yay or nay? Leave us a comment down below.