Although Jalan Besar GRC MP Denise Phua's idea of abolishing the Primary School Leaving Examination ("3 unhealthy trends plaguing education: Denise Phua"; Jan 28) is a good one, it does not address the crux of the problem.
We need to realise that the issue is not PSLE grades but, rather, the struggle to get into an elite secondary school.
Why do secondary schools have cut-off points for entry? Why are some secondary schools' cut-off points higher than others? Why can't we do away with these cut-off points altogether?
One way to prevent parents from demanding that their children score well in the PSLE is to make all schools in Singapore "good" schools.
We need to remove the notion of being "elite" or "good" from these popular schools. Some suggestions to achieve this are:
- Sending principals and teachers of all popular primary and secondary schools to less popular schools.
- Sharing best practices from the teachers of sought-after schools with the teachers at less popular schools.
- How about a teacher-exchange programme? Teachers could be sent to "elite" schools to observe the differences in teaching styles and methods.
- Send a Ministry of Education team or ask retired educators to study popular schools to find out why they are so well liked.
I believe that every school in Singapore is a good school.
Hopefully, by diversifying and adapting certain practices, we can change the mindset of the masses and make every public school in Singapore a sought-after school as well.
Melinda Ann Michael (Ms)