Level playing field needed in PSLE

Students at the release of 2018 PSLE Results at Geylang Methodist School (Primary) on Nov 22.
Students at the release of 2018 PSLE Results at Geylang Methodist School (Primary) on Nov 22.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore education system is based on meritocracy. Of course, no system is perfect.

However, our system must continue to be as fair and equitable as possible (Parents petition to review PSLE scoring system for those exempt from MTL, Aug 13).

Demand exceeds supply for places in top schools, and the only way to determine entrance is a fair playing field for all.

There are many Singaporean families who find mother tongue studies practically impossible. Children spend endless hours to hopefully get a decent grade in it. These are hours which could have been spent on the other subjects.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has been generous in allowing a pass grade for those exempt from studying mother tongue languages.

Logically speaking, a top school is meant for students who can excel in all subjects.

Hence a child who cannot undertake mother tongue studies would arguably find a school with a less intensive and rigorous environment more conducive.

As a parent whose daughter excelled in Chinese and passed her A levels with all As, I am interested to see how MOE will address this vexing issue.

Jennie Wang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2019, with the headline 'Level playing field needed in PSLE'. Print Edition | Subscribe