More pursuing post-secondary education: MOE

Students at Crescent Girls’ Secondary School checking out one another’s O-level results.
Students at Crescent Girls’ Secondary School checking out one another’s O-level results.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More students are pursuing post-secondary education, with Malay students showing the largest increase among the country's three main ethnic groups, longitudinal data from the Ministry of Education (MOE) showed.

Of the 47,256 pupils entering Primary 1 in 2004, 96.5 per cent proceeded to post-secondary education last year.

The figure stood at 96.3 per cent for 2013, and 95.9 per cent in 2012.

A decade ago in 2005, just 90.9 per cent of the 1995 Primary 1 cohort made it to post-secondary institutions.

On Friday, MOE released annual data on how students have fared over the last 10 years.

Malay students showed the most improvement, with 92.5 per cent of the Primary 1 cohort in 2004 entering post-secondary institutions, an increase of 10.8 percentage points compared with 81.7 per cent in 2005.

The number of Chinese students studying beyond secondary level saw an increase of 4.2 percentage points, while Indian students saw an increase of 9.9 percentage points.

The rise in post-secondary enrolment is in line with the trend in previous years.

Former Education Minister Heng Swee Keat had said last year that initiatives such as specialised schools meant to help the academically weak have helped to reduce the dropout rate of students.

Before NorthLight School and Assumption Pathway School - both meant to take in those who failed the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) - were set up, about 60 per cent of pupils who had failed the PSLE dropped out of school.

With the start of the two specialised schools, the figure has been lowered to about 10 to 15 per cent.

Most students who graduate from these two schools move on to the Institute of Technical Education.

Those who do not can opt to participate in a two-year work and study programme, where they work three days a week and spend the remaining two days learning modules accredited by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications.

The report also showed that students fared better at the A levels and the O levels over the years, while PSLE pass rates have remained stable.

leepearl@sph.com.sg