Forum: Ease students' transition from primary to secondary school

One thing I discovered during the circuit breaker was how much help my son, who is in Secondary 3, needed to catch up in his school work.

I had known he was lagging behind his peers; I had received calls from his teachers telling me that he was inattentive and occasionally disruptive in class, and had broken minor school rules.

But it was only when we were put together during the circuit breaker that my husband and I realised we needed to do something.

I was thankful that during home-based learning, parents were able to access the assignments and teaching materials posted online.

Although it was decades ago when we studied some of the subjects, we were still able to help to a certain extent as temporary teachers at home.

Now that my son is back in school, we are keeping an eye on his progress, but we no longer have as clear a picture.

Separately, I remember expressing my concern about the steep and stressful transition from primary school to secondary school to his teachers when he was in Sec 1.

Students are expected to independently keep up with a substantial increase in work volume, and I fear that this may affect their attitude towards learning. Those who do not have help readily available to them may give up, lose their attachment to school and run into issues such as delinquency.

My wish is for the secondary school system to be kinder to young Singaporeans and make school life a bit more manageable for them.

I suggest that Sec 1 students start with six subjects, which is already an increase from the four subjects in Primary 6. The number of subjects can then increase from Sec 2.

A blend of home-based learning and classroom learning should also be used from the start of Sec 1. Students should have easy access to online notes and assignments after class, and not have to worry about copying notes during class, which may hurt their ability to understand and keep up.

Classroom lessons should focus on getting students to understand concepts.

Kang Soh Teng

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