Parents should look beyond cut-off points for secondary schools: Heng Swee Keat

Parents choosing a secondary school for their 12-year-olds should focus on factors beyond the school's cut-off point, and consider the learning environment most suitable for their child, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Sunday. -- FILE PHOTO
Parents choosing a secondary school for their 12-year-olds should focus on factors beyond the school's cut-off point, and consider the learning environment most suitable for their child, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Sunday. -- FILE PHOTO: ZAOBAO

Parents choosing a secondary school for their 12-year-olds should focus on factors beyond the school's cut-off point, and consider the learning environment most suitable for their child, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Sunday.

In a Facebook posting two days after the release of the Primary School Leaving Examination results, Mr Heng said some parents choose a school based on the previous year's cut-off point, "in the belief that the higher the COP (cut-off point), the more competitive the school, and hence, the better it is".

He added: "But remember, academic grade is only one aspect, and even then, how well your child does depends on how motivated he is."

He urged parents to think about the environment that will best allow their children to develop, help them gain confidence, while letting them discover their talent and passion.

Parents should also consider if their children are interested in the programmes and niches offered by the secondary schools, and to pick a school that is "reasonably close to home so that your child need not spend too much time travelling, and you can have more family time together".