Parents compile online lists of PSLE top scores

A move to stop revealing the names and scores of top performers at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) to reduce the emphasis on academic results has not stopped parents from compiling their own lists of top scores.

When primary schools withheld the scores of their high-fliers after the PSLE results were released last Wednesday, some parents went online to assemble unofficial lists of aggregate scores attained by the supposed top pupils in their children's schools.

They told The Straits Times that these lists give them some indication of whether their children have a shot at getting into "brand name" secondary schools here.

Engineer Daniel Yeo, 44, whose son got his results last week, said: "It is about managing expectations. At the end of the day, we don't want our child to be disappointed if he can't get into a particular school."

Other parents looking to register their children at primary schools next year noted the lists' usefulness as a gauge of the schools' standards.

This is the fourth year that the Ministry of Education has withheld the name of the top scorer and the highest and lowest scores.

KiasuParents.com compiles its list of top scores with input from parents. Its co-founder William Toh, 49, said the website sees a big spike in traffic in the days after the results are released.

"We started this because parents may need help deciding which schools to put their children in," he said, adding that the scores are indicative but may not be an accurate reflection of actual performance.

Last Wednesday, schools celebrated their top scorers in groups rather than individually.

They also recognised pupils who improved greatly, overcame the odds or did well in non-academic areas such as sports.

Some parents lauded the ministry's effort to stop disclosing the highest and lowest PSLE scores every year.

Housewife Colleen Tan, 46, who has two sons aged 12 and 16, said: "A child has potential that goes beyond academic results and it is good that schools realise that. Parents, too, need to recognise that."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2015, with the headline 'Parents compile online lists of PSLE top scores'. Print Edition | Subscribe