Grades matter in government service

I fully agree with Education Minister Ong Ye Kung that education is a holistic developmental experience that goes far beyond grades and marks (Fewer exams for students, less emphasis on grades; Sept 29).

This was very well said.

However, in the government service, applicants are required to provide details of their educational attainment, including individual subjects taken and the grades attained at O and A levels.

This is totally mindless when the job calls for the qualification of a university degree.

When I moved to China for work several years ago, I took my sons out of the Singapore school system.

My older son was in junior college and my younger son was in Primary 6 preparing for the PSLE.

Without having to stress over grades, they had one of the best school years learning and developing their talents and interests.

However, their hopes of qualifying for scholarships and working for the Singapore Government are as good as dead because recruiting managers in government agencies and statutory boards do not know how to deal with Singaporeans who did not take the O and A level exams, let alone the PSLE, unless one is a foreign talent.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2018, with the headline 'Grades matter in government service'. Print Edition | Subscribe