Voices Of Youth

Grades are necessary

Singapore should stop pushing the idea that exams do not matter. It will not change the fact that survival of the fittest is the way our community is structured.

The policymakers of old must have had good reason to implement the current system of streaming in schools.

First, we should ask the question, why grade students?

Grades are but a means for students to measure the quality of their knowledge, as well as for external organisations to deduce students' capabilities.

After all, educational institutions give the most prestigious of awards solely to the cream of the crop. This ensures that opportunities are provided to those who really are suitable.

Although one may argue that character overwrites ability, personality is usually considered only after a basic standard of academic competence has been met.

It demonstrates that a student is disciplined and can manage his time well, while also reflecting a vigorous structure of learning.

Nonetheless, bad grades do not necessarily denote failure. Those who fall behind just have to work harder in life to realise their potential.

The academic stream serves as a stepping stone to achieving conventional success. Students can still pursue passions and excel in other domains like sports and the arts.

I concede that scores do not define people, but if not exam results, what should we use to assess students?

Erasing the notion that grades are important is simply impractical.

Yang Yizhen, 16, Secondary 4 Student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2018, with the headline 'Grades are necessary'. Print Edition | Subscribe