MOE to stop naming top students in national exams

MOE to stop naming top students in national exams

Starting today, you won't be able to find out who the top PSLE scorer is. Find out why here.

Moe stops naming top scorer

Moe stops naming top scorer

The Primary School Leaving Exams will be out at noon today and if you expect to see the names of the top scorers splashed across national media, you will be disappointed.

In a move that has gotten mixed reactions, The Ministry of Education (MOE) has decided to discontinue its practice of revealing the name of the top-scoring pupils in all national examinations when the results are released.

This means that the public won’t get to know the top scorer for today’s PSLE results as well as the ‘N’ and ‘O’ Level examinations. This move was seen as the logical next step as MOE had already stopped naming the top scorer for the ‘A’ Level examinations some years back.

Academic success is not everything
The Straits Times reported that according to a ministry spokesman, the reason for doing this is so that the focus will be on the performance of the whole cohort [and not only a select few] and this move will balance the [current] over-emphasis on academic results.

This is in line with the ministry’s push in recent years to highlight other talents and excellence other than the traditional academic success, as it added that academic performance is just one part of a student’s overall progress and development.

A positive move

As was seen in a Yahoo! Report, parents have applauded this move by MOE with some parents saying that this move was long overdue. Others felt that the this practise of naming top scorers only increased stress for both students and parents and could even act as a blow to an impressionable child’s shaky confidence and thus they welcomed this positive step by the ministry.

No recognition?
Some parents however feel that this move means children who have done extremely well or have shown immense progress won’t be recognised. MOE has dispelled these concerns by stating that “students who have done well academically and shown immense academic progress will be recognised through the awarding of Edusave awards and scholarships.”

The Education Minister speaks
Taken from his Facebook post early Thursday morning, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that the decision not to name top performers in national examinations is not to “move away from merit” or “address stress per se” and added  that realistically, “It is not possible nor desirable to eliminate stress completely.” The move is ultimately to shift focus on just one aspect of excellence and that “what matters is that our children grow up to have a love for learning, and to be life-long learners.  It is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Acknowledging the very real fact that both parents and students put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well in these national exams, Minister Heng ended his post with some wise words, “I hope that whatever the results of your children, parents will support and encourage your children in their next phase of learning and growth.  Our children will be more likely to succeed if they grow up to be confident and resilient, able to bounce back from setbacks; and be inventive and adventurous, able and willing to try and create new things.  Let us celebrate their effort, continue to encourage excellence, and broaden our definitions of success.”

We want to know what our AsianParent readers think? Do you feel this was a positive move or will it cause your child to feel less motivated? Tell us by taking the poll below.


Here are some related links that you might like:

Obsession over PSLE 2012 top scorer

Primary schools rankings – top 21

PSLE Results out on 22nd November 2012

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Written by

Wafa Marican

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