8 Changes to Singapore education system you should know this year!

8 Changes to Singapore education system you should know this year!

Here are some changes to Singapore education system that you need to be updated with this year!

There have been some major changes to Singapore education system. With these measures MOE hopes to shift the focus from grades, to student’s strengths. 

Here are some key changes that you need to be updated with this year: 

1. No more exams in P1 and P2 and other exam changes

From 2019, all weighted assessments and examinations for Primary One (P1) and Two (P2) students will be removed, and assessments conducted will not be counted to form any overall mark or grade.

This includes removing the year-end examination at P2. Mid-year examinations for P3, P5, S1 and S3 will also be removed over the next three years (2019 to 2021), starting with the removal of MYE at S1 in 2019.

changes to Singapore education system

There will be changes to the Holistic Development Profile (HDP), or the ‘report book’. And criteria for the Edusave Merit Bursary (EMB) for P1 and P2 and Edusave Good Progress Award (GPA) for P2 and P3 will be revised.

For full details, click here.

2. MOE Kindergarten kids will get more priority in co-located primary schools during P1 registration

Starting from P1 Registration 2018, MOE Kindergarten kids will get more priority in co-located primary schools.

These children can apply for P1 admission in the Phase 2A2 (ahead of Phase 2B). Previously, Phase 2A2 was reserved for children whose parents or siblings have studied in the school, and whose parents are staff members of the school.

changes to Singapore education system

According to the MOE, there are developmental benefits in facilitating this transition for MK children.
Allowing them to remain in a familiar physical, social and educational environment for their primary school education will help smoothen their transition to Primary 1.

Also, since there is a close partnership between the MK and the primary school, the school would also be more familiar with the needs of the MK children, and can more quickly ensure that they have the necessary developmental support when they enter Primary 1.

3. Direct School Admission (DSA) Scheme extended to all secondary schools

From 2018, secondary schools will be required to admit students under the DSA scheme by identifying and focussing on specific strengths like sports, arts, language, mathematics or science.

General academic ability will no longer be considered as a criteria. Schools can use a wide range of assessment tools, from interviews and trials, to auditions and subject tests, for their selection process.

changes to Singapore education system


The number of DSA places would be increased. From 2018, all secondary schools will have the option to reserve up to 20 % of their O-level places for DSA pupils.

Also, from 2019, students will be able to submit their applications for DSA using a centralised MOE portal. All schools will have a common DSA-Sec application timeline. Students will have greater options when choosing talent areas and schools.

For more details, click here.

4. Healthy lifestyle is advocated in all primary and secondary schools

Food, exercise and sleep – 3 areas pertaining to health and fitness, will receive focus in all schools.

All schools, including primary schools, secondary schools, Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute have implemented the “Healthy Meals in School Programme” by end of 2017.

changes to Singapore education system


Sleep and sleep hygiene will receive focus in secondary school PE curriculum too.

Students will be able to make use of sports and fitness equipment provided in their schools, during break, or after school.

5. More secondary school places in affiliated schools open to non-affiliated students

From 2019, 20 % of places in all 27 secondary schools that are affiliated to primary schools, will be kept open to non-affiliated students.

This is to ensure fairness, and to give all students a chance, irrespective of their background or connections. Meanwhile, below is the list of all secondary schools affiliated to primary schools.

changes to Singapore education system

6. Subject based banding in all secondary schools

By 2018, Secondary 1 students from the Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams will be able to take subjects at a higher academic level.

7. Increased aptitude-based admission at tertiary level

More students will be admitted using aptitude tests, and not just exam scores. Up to 15 % of University intake is going to be through aptitude-based admission.

Similarly, the quota for Polytechnic Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) will be increased from 12.5% to 15%, for year 2018 admissions.

ITE can admit up to 15% of its intake through aptitude-based admissions. The aptitude tests will be conducted before the release of N- and O-Level results.

changes to Singapore education system


8. Technical Diploma for ITE graduates

MOE will develop a new pathway for ITE students, leading to a Technical Diploma that will be conferred by ITE.

The Technical Diploma will be apprenticeship-based, with every course delivered in partnership with employers. ITE students will be able to apply for them after they graduate with Nitec or Higher Nitec, or after a few years of working.

This initiative will be introduced in sectors such as Mechanical & Electrical Services Design & Supervision, Security System Engineering, Rehabilitation Therapy, and Offshore & Marine.

This will hopefully help to smoothen the transition between study and work.

Also READ: Singapore education system


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