Voices Of Youth

Remove stigmas of streaming

Many have criticised the practice of streaming students based on their academic results.

Some argue that it gives rise to stereotypes. For instance, students who are on the Integrated Programme track are believed to be more competent than other students.

Others say streaming causes students to lose the opportunity to interact with and learn from peers who are different from them.

Those who have special talents or skills also go unrecognised.

There are certainly weaknesses in the streaming system, but I believe streaming is the most practical and fair way to group students.

Students of similar abilities learn at around the same pace, making lessons more efficient.

Streaming provides pressure for students to push their boundaries and achieve greater heights.

What is undesirable is the value that is placed on the streaming results. Students who are labelled as having "no potential in academics" may feel limited. They may become embroiled in a vicious circle of negative self-criticism.

If we can eradicate these stigmas, Singaporeans can come to appreciate the benefits streaming can bring to students.

Wong Jia Yi, 16, Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2017, with the headline 'Remove stigmas of streaming'. Print Edition | Subscribe