PSLE stress mostly self-induced

Having observed the stress my sister was under when she took the Primary School Leaving Examination last year, I realised that the problem was more self-induced rather than structural.

Pupils, as well as parents, are fearful of the high stakes, are concerned about getting into a "good school", and impose high expectations on themselves.

With the minimum mark for the highest achievement level now set at 90, rather than 100, pupils would face even greater pressure in seeking to attain the highest Achievement Level, contrary to the objective of the new banding system ("New PSLE scoring system to have 8 grade bands"; last Thursday).

Unless the Government completely removes all forms of testing, the problem will persist.

Another problem is that even though it is not uncommon to have highly qualified teachers teaching in lower-tier schools, the conditioning is still to chase after spaces in elite schools.

Yong Chang Jun, 18, JC2 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2016, with the headline 'PSLE stress mostly self-induced'. Print Edition | Subscribe