Excerpts from readers' letters on education

MODIFY SCHOOL SELECTION PROCESS

The Education Ministry should modify the post-PSLE school selection process. With the exception of the top 10 to 20 per cent of the PSLE cohort, pupils should be posted to the nearest school according to their postal code. This will help greatly in reducing the competitive pressure of gaining admission into good schools. All neighbourhood schools will also get a fair share of above-average, average and below-average students.

I am not trying to advocate an elitist approach. I just do not wish to see the possible downgrading of our top schools, which have also contributed immensely to our educational landscape.

K. Sabehshan

REPORT BOOK CHANGES LAUDABLE

I find the changes to a student's report book an excellent initiative and hope there is continued effort to develop it. Even after many years, the significance and memories of the report book remain. There is probably nothing like the pride (or fear) of bringing home a report book to be signed by your parents.

Terence Teoh

STOP USING THE WORD 'FAIL'

Do away with the word "fail" in schools, for it is not the subject content or exams that affect pupils most emotionally (especially young primary school pupils) but, rather, the label of being a failure.

It is more objective to say "scored below 50 out of 100". This has the effect of stating a fact - that one is weak in a particular subject or area, and is certainly not a failure.

Wong Horng Ginn

DON'T LUMP STUDENTS INTO ONE CLASS

Soft means, like creating more opportunities for students with mixed abilities to interact with others through shared common spaces, strategic infrastructural planning and inter-bonding activities, can be used in schools. However, when it comes to secondary school, lumping students into one class would be ineffective in helping them reach their highest potential.

Cassandra Chia Li Ping (Ms)

LEARNING NEVER ENDS

The unprecedented decision to slaughter the proverbial sacred cow which has defined our exam-oriented school system for over half a century is encouraging.

The emphasis on joy of learning and "learning for life" dovetails with the fact that learning does not end when one leaves school, steps into society or even when one retires.

Seah Yam Meng

CHANGE PAY SCHEME FOR FRESH GRADS

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has introduced many initiatives to reduce the emphasis on academic results. However, employers, including those in the public sector, persist with their old ways.

For example, a person with a first-class honours degree would start with a salary of $4,000, while someone with a second-upper honours degree would get $3,700 and so on. Such mindsets and practices contradict what MOE is trying to achieve.

These mindsets and practices are difficult to change.

It is unlikely that employers would like the Government to advise them on how to pay fresh graduates. For a start, maybe the public sector can walk the talk and hopefully influence the mindset and practices in the private sector.

Raymond Tan Chye Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2018, with the headline 'Excerpts from readers' letters on education'. Print Edition | Subscribe