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Why do girls perform better than boys in Singapore primary schools?

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According to statistics, girls perform better than boys in Singapore primary schools. What could be the reason?

An interesting observation has come to our notice. Girls tend to outperform boys in primary school. But boys are able to close this gap by the time they enter university. What is the reason for this disparity in performance?

Girls do better in PSLE

According to The Straits Times, statistics from the Ministry of Education (MOE) reveal that in the last 10 years, girls performed "slightly better" than boys in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).

By the time they enter their O levels, however, boys were able to close the gap a bit. But they are pretty much on level playing field when they reach university. MOE says that the number of males and females pursuing degrees in local universities have been comparable over the past three years.

MOE attributes this variation as "a complex issue that depends on various factors, such as the subject matter, students' education level, motivation level and behaviours and the education systems."

Studying Patterns: Boys vs. Girls

Apparently, boys and girls differ in their fundamental approach to studying. This behaviour tends to vary as they get older and start prioritising. Here are some interesting facts:

  • Girls tend to be better readers than boys across all age groups up to upper secondary.
  • Girls generally do better than boys up to lower secondary in math and science, but boys gear up and start outperforming girls at the higher levels.
  • Girls are generally better listeners and hence more receptive to details. Perhaps these qualities help in more effective learning.
  • Boys are apparently less diligent about their homework than girls. They spend more time playing video games, and seem to enjoy reading a lot less than girls.
  • Boys also get bored and distracted easily, and constantly need more stimulation and motivation in order to pay attention.
  • Boys, however, are great with practical and performance-based tasks; a skill which probably helps them do better at later stages of education like polytechnic and university.
  • Most people think that boys are late bloomers; they take longer to acquire the discipline and maturity needed to achieve their goals. They also take longer to decide what they want to do with their lives, but once they do, there's usually no stopping them.

Helping your child focus in studies

Is your child struggling with his studies? Does he have a short attention span? Here are some tips to increase your child's focus in studies:

  • Create a conducive study environment: Clear the clutter. Organise study material and stationery. The child should be happy to be in his study room. Maybe even put up some educational/motivational posters on the wall. Make a study time-table or routine.
  • Limit distractions: If your child is doing homework, turn the television off and limit any conversations happening in the same room.
  • Rule out any abnormalities: Make sure your child's hearing, eyesight and coordination is normal.
  • Understand your child's learning style: Is he a visual learner? Does he learn better by hearing out the information? Does playing games increase his concentration?
  • Praise and reward your child: Some children need to be sufficiently motivated to complete tasks. Discuss and set short term goals with your child. Maybe even create a reward sheet. Small children love getting their stickers. Praise them for their good effort, taking care not to shame them if they haven't met their milestones.

Also READ: 5 Study tips for children

(Source: The Straits Times)

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