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Singapore Budget 2014: Specialised schools have helped lower student attrition rates

A teacher conducts an English lesson at Assumption Pathway School. The setting up of specialised schools that recruit students who have failed the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) have lowered the student attrition rate, Education Mini
A teacher conducts an English lesson at Assumption Pathway School. The setting up of specialised schools that recruit students who have failed the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) have lowered the student attrition rate, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Friday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR

The setting up of specialised schools that recruit students who have failed the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) have lowered the student attrition rate, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Friday.

Before Northlight School and Assumption Pathway School were established, the attrition rate of students who had failed PSLE was 60 per cent, he said. The figure has now been lowered to between 10 to 15 per cent, said Mr Heng, adding that "some children really blossom in these schools, and discover the best in themselves."

Students in these two schools are also progressing to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and "transiting to meaningful employment" with remarkable success rates, he added.

He was speaking on the support the Education Ministry provides to students with greater learning needs, even beyond the primary school level.

Over at Crest Secondary School and Spectra Secondary School, a specialised school for students in the Normal (Technical) course, Mr Heng said the attendance rates are close to 100 per cent, and students are engaged in their learning.

At these two schools, students get to learn vocational skills such as mechanical servicing and retail services on top of English, their mother-tongue language and mathematics.

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