Voices Of Youth

Subject-based banding welcomed

Students collecting their N-Level results on Dec 17, 2018.
Students collecting their N-Level results on Dec 17, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

Almost 40 years ago, the Ministry of Education (MOE) implemented the streaming system in schools, which divides students according to their learning capabilities.

I believe a key reason behind the move was to combat the high drop-out rates among students.

While this has indeed achieved its objective, streaming has led to increased stress and stigmatisation.

Recognising the need for change, MOE announced that a subject-based banding system will be applied to all secondary schools by 2024 (Subject-based banding to replace streaming in schools, March 8).

Given that streaming has been an integral part of Singapore's educational landscape and has allowed Singapore to boost its education rankings globally, the move came to me as a pleasant surprise.

As someone who has been through streaming, the stress to ensure that my grades are consistent with my stream is certainly undeniable.

The new subject-based banding will definitely reduce the level of stress students face and make learning more manageable.

Parents need to change their mindsets and let their child grow at their own pace too.

If every parent urges his child to take all subjects at the G3 level without considering his learning pace, it would be no different from putting the child in the Express stream.

It is important to note that every child learns differently, and learning at a lower level does not mean that the child is losing out in the competition.

Clarissa Ho Jia Min, 21

NUS Undergraduate Year 2

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2019, with the headline 'Subject-based banding welcomed'. Print Edition | Subscribe