DSA Application for 2021 Opens Today, Selection Process Moves Online
"We recognise that there might be limitations in assessing students via e-modes for certain talent areas, like team sports. However, schools will adopt a holistic approach towards selection" - MOE
The Direct School Admission (DSA) application for the year 2021, opens today (12 May), for secondary schools and junior colleges (JC). Students can choose to enter any of the 146 secondary schools and 20 JCs, participating this year’s DSA exercise, based on their talents and interests.
DSA functions as a pathway for students to gain direct entry to secondary schools or JCs based on their diverse talents and achievements, beyond their performance at the national examinations. Upon admission, students can develop these talents further in their secondary schools or JCs.
DSA Application for the year 2021
Selection method in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic
Shortlisted students will not attend physical trials or face-to-face interviews as part of their DSA selection process this year. They will instead face all interviews and selections processes via electronic modes (e-modes), which will be conducted at the applicants’ primary school for DSA-Sec, or the applicants’ secondary school for DSA-JC, during the selection process from 1 July to 14 September 2020, for DSA-Sec, and 29 June to 4 September 2020, for DSA-JC.
The e-modes used will be those which students are familiar with, and include video conferencing and performance tasks. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate their potential via simple tasks. Additionally, the applicant’s previous school records such as Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) records and past achievements, will also be taken into account, as well as individual input from the student’s current school.
“We recognise that there might be limitations in assessing students via e-modes for certain talent areas, like team sports. However, schools will adopt a holistic approach towards selection. More information on the DSA schools’ selection criteria will be published on their respective websites,” the MOE adds.
This move is in lieu of safe distancing measures and comes as an effort to curb the inter-mingling of students across schools.
All participating schools will adhere to the selection process via a set of guidelines that the MOE has issued to them “on the conduct of DSA selection, to ensure the safety of students and staff, as well as fairness and transparency in the exercises”, and all applicants will be provided “with access to capability, suitable venues, and equipment, with standardisation of the setting and equipment to ensure fairness in the selection process.”
DSA Application: Secondary Schools
Applicants interested to apply at their preferred Secondary school may do so via a centralised online portal from 12 May to 5 June 2020. The process is free-of-charge and requires one parent’s SingPass to login, for authentication purposes; Applicants without access to SingPass accounts may approach their primary school for assistance.
The portal can be accessed via a link available on the DSA-Sec website from 12 May 2020, 9:00am to 5 June 2020, 3:00pm.
Applicants only need to fill in one online form to apply to multiple schools and talent areas, and their details will be provided electronically to the schools they apply to, MOE notes. Up to three choices can be indicated in the application form, and applicants will need to choose a secondary school and a talent area offered by that school, for each choice made.
“For a student with more than one talent area, he/she can indicate a different talent area for each of his/her three choices, and a maximum of two choices may be used for the same school,” MOE notes.
DSA Application: JC
Applicants interested to apply at their preferred JC are required to check the MOE DSA-JC website for dates and timelines, and further information on selection criteria and procedure. Applicants are also encouraged to visit their preferred JCs’ websites for more information “on application periods, procedures, and selection criteria, which may differ across JCs.”
Students from low-income families are offered financial assistance through various schemes such as the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) and Opportunity Fund, and those interested in applying to Independent Schools (ISes) can make use of the Independent School Bursary (ISB) and the Edusave Scholarship for Independent Schools (ESIS) programmes, for relief in view of the higher fees in these schools. Further, The UPLIFT Scholarship programme provides an annual cash award amounting to $800 for eligible IS students from low-income families.
More details on all MOE scholarships can be found here.