Voices Of Youth

DSA scheme has its downside

The Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme allows students with non-academic talents to gain direct admission to the school of their choice.

This undoubtedly reduces the number of vacancies available for students trying to get in via the conventional route - their Primary School Leaving Examination scores - since the cut-off points of such schools will now be higher.

As gaining entry through the DSA is not guaranteed, and given higher cut-off scores, it is no wonder most of my schoolmates are spending more time on tuition and enrichment classes.

As we try to build up our portfolios for the DSA, time and effort are now channelled not only towards achieving good academic results, but also into developing non-academic talents.

Thus, many of my schoolmates are sacrificing their recreation and family time to create perfect portfolios, regardless of whether they actually like what they are doing.

With little sleep and play, more students will become depressed.

It was a more level playing field in the past, when one could get into one's school of choice based solely on PSLE scores.

Though the idea of de-emphasising academic achievement is good, more modifications are needed to level the currently stressful and uneven playing field.

Lim Xuan Qi, 11, Primary 5 pupil

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'DSA scheme has its downside '. Print Edition | Subscribe