A cause for celebration, not worry

The trend of improving O-level results should be a cause for celebration, not a trend to be worried about ("The case of the ever-improving exam results" by Mr Sum Siew Kee; Tuesday).

We should recognise the fact that our students are achieving better results, as they are more prepared to tackle the exams.

More has been done by schools and parents in ensuring that students are more prepared for national exams.

The increase in access to revision materials (due to increase in wealth and use of technology) also helps students to be better prepared.

The trend where national exam results have been improving is merely a reflection of the efforts of schools and parents.

Grade inflation is defined as awarding higher grades than what students deserve, and not simply a phenomenon where an ever-larger proportion of students are getting better results.

We should ensure that our education system is one that gives everyone the opportunity to maximise his potential, and not one that constantly increases the demands on our students to the extent that only a few can cope and excel.

We are not experiencing grade inflation. The trend that we observe now is due to our students getting more proficient in tackling exams.

All our students deserve the grades they have received.

The changes in our education policies over the years have helped to ensure that students are able to better cope with their studies.

Our education system allows students to learn at their own pace, and programmes have been developed to help every student maximise his potential.

While the shift to reducing excessive focus on academic results should be applauded, we must ensure that this is notmisused by the elite few as an excuse to deny the majoritythe opportunity to further their studies.

We should ensure that our education system is one that gives everyone the opportunity to maximise his potential, and not one that constantly increases the demands on our students to the extent that only a few can cope and excel.

Quek Wei Kang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2016, with the headline 'A cause for celebration, not worry'. Print Edition | Subscribe