MOE announces 6 CHANGES to Singapore’s education system!

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Ministry of Education has just announced 6 key changes to Singapore's education system. Read all about it here!

MOE has just announced some major changes to Singapore’s education system. With these measures it hopes to shift the focus from grades, to student’s strengths. Allow us to decipher these changes for you here:

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

According to Channel News Asia, 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.


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

Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, has been quoted as saying that, so far, the DSA has ,”inadvertently put undue focus on general academic abilities, rather than identifying specific strengths. With all the different changes, the intent is to recognise diverse talents, enabling our children to excel in their talents in specific domains. We are not looking for general abilities, all-rounders.”

Also, from 2019, students will be able to submit their applications for DSA using a centralised MOE portal.

2. Healthy lifestyle to be advocated in all primary and secondary schools

Food, exercise and sleep – 3 areas pertaining to health and fitness, will receive focus in all schools. According to the MOE’s Facebook page, all schools, including primary schools, secondary schools, Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute will implement the “Healthy Meals in School Programme” by end of 2017.


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.

3. More secondary school places in affiliated schools open to all

According to The Straits Times, 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.

4. 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.

According to The Straits Times, Minister Ng has been quoted as saying,”We cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach… For students with uneven strengths across their subjects, they can stretch themselves in their areas of strength through subject-based banding.”


In a move that deserves to be appreciated, 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.

An ITE EAE will also be introduced, where 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.


6. Technical Diploma for ITE graduates

According to the MOE’s post on Facebook, “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

(Source: The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia)

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