Prudent to change PSLE scoring as workforce needs change

It is indeed a prudent move for the Government to revamp the Primary School Leaving Examination scoring system, replacing aggregate scores with wider scoring bands ("Primary: No more PSLE aggregate score from 2021"; April 9).

The PSLE aggregate scoring system has built an effective meritocratic system that served our nation well for the past few decades.

However, today's business landscape and workforce needs have evolved tremendously from our post-independence period, and Singapore needs to adapt to continue progressing as a First World nation.

First, our people need to learn beyond books.

New information these days infiltrates our lives on a daily basis. We need to develop the mindset and abilities to explore beyond "model answers".

The world is evolving so quickly that following model answers would only slow down true innovation and progress in our society.

Wider scoring bands would encourage parents and children to explore their individual interests and strengths outside the syllabus.

Next, our people need to learn to collaborate.

Aggregate scores would breed competitiveness in our young, and that does no good to our nation's progress.

Innovation thrives in a collaborative environment. Unhealthy competition would risk dividing our workforce and inhibiting innovation.

Besides, unnecessary competition also puts extreme pressure on parents and children.

Though the Government has signalled a change, our country still needs to wait and see how this new strategy pans out on the ground.

The biggest challenge is the mindset that has been ingrained in our culture, after decades of competing over academic results.

My hope is that parents and communities can learn to appreciate the bigger picture and embrace the change together as a nation.

Benjamin Shu Guokang