Parents say PSLE's focus on grades won’t ease pressure on children
Starting 2021, PSLE students will be accessed by eight Achievement Levels (AL), numbered 1-8, with 1 being the highest
On 13 July, it was announced that that there will be a new scoring system for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results. Starting 2021, students will be accessed by eight Achievement Levels (AL), numbered 1-8, with 1 being the highest.
Currently, PSLE students are accessed using the “T-score” system, which reflects how well a student did in relation to others in the cohort using a mathematical formula. For example, even if a student has achieved high marks for his subject, he will be given a T-score if most of his peers scored higher than him.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the issue to tweak the PSLE scoring system during the National Day Rally in 2013, in which he stated the “tremendous stress” on students and families.
Parents of the pioneer batch of students however, think that the new scoring system will not ease pressure on the children.
Although they agreed that it will reduce competition and there'll be more secondary schools to pick from, parents say that the focus would still be on grades.
One parent, Ms Angie Ong, whose daughter is in Primary 1 this year, said that the current scoring system would allow the children to focus on other interests such as sports and other non-academic interests.
She added that she would rank her school choices based on her child’s academic capabilities.
Ms Deborah Giam, whose daughter is a student at Methodist Girls’ School said: "With this new system, it’s still the same because ... at end of the day, it’s still about how many points you score."
Ms Betty Ho, whose daughter is a budding ballerina, will be enrolling in River Valley Primary School next year, in which Ms Ho said a school’s dance programme, rather than its academic record, would matter more to her.
If you have any thoughts on this topic, do share them with us.