Monthly Spotlight

PSLE: Reform or Retain?

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung recently announced several changes such as removing assessments for Primary 1 and Primary 2 students, removing certain information from report books etc. to encourage Singapore to move away from focusing too much on examination and grades.

The Ministry’s move coincided with a viral online movement #LifeBeyondGrades, where local personalities shared their PSLE grades on Instagram. Whilst the Parliament had previously debated the scrapping of the ‘sacred cow’ of PSLE, Minister Ong defended the system, saying it is “the most meritocratic, and probably the most fair”.

Although nearly 3 in 4 (72%) Singaporeans agree that the national examination is ‘meritocratic and fair’, 83% would like to see more discussion of alternatives to the PSLE.

PSLE is also likely to bring as much stress to students as it does to families. More than 3 in 4 (77%) of Singaporeans think that it causes too much stress to students and also to families

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