St Hilda's to add extra Higher Chinese class

St Hilda's Primary School reviewed its criteria after receiving feedback and guidance from MOE, and will open another Higher Chinese class.
St Hilda's Primary School reviewed its criteria after receiving feedback and guidance from MOE, and will open another Higher Chinese class.ST FILE PHOTO

St Hilda's Primary School will add one more Higher Chinese class to take in more pupils who want to study the subject.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling provided this update in Parliament yesterday, noting that the school had an "unusually high" cut-off point for pupils interested in studying Higher Chinese.

The primary school in Tampines came under the spotlight last month, after The Straits Times reported that a Primary 1 pupil could not make the cut for the subject despite scoring 97 marks in a Chinese test.

The school, which offers Higher Chinese at Primary 2, had said he was not within the top 25 per cent of his cohort.

Ms Low said the school had sought to ensure a "high level of ability" among those who wanted to take Higher Chinese.

"We acknowledge St Hilda's Primary School's good intentions in making sure that the pupils who want to take Higher Chinese are well suited and also ready to take on the subject," she said.

After receiving feedback and guidance from the Ministry of Education (MOE), the school has since reviewed its criteria and will open another Higher Chinese language class, she added.

Ms Low was responding to Mr Low Thia Khiang (Aljunied GRC), who asked if MOE reviews the selection process of individual primary schools in assessing pupils' abilities to take Higher Mother Tongue subjects.

She said schools need to take into account pupils' interest levels and language abilities when considering them for a Higher Mother Tongue subject, as it "incurs additional curriculum time and heavier learning load".

"It can be overwhelming to students who are not interested or ready to offer the subject," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2017, with the headline 'St Hilda's to add extra Higher Chinese class'. Print Edition | Subscribe