Let go of colonial past to create world-class local qualifications

I agree with Mr Joel Pang that there should be a local adaptation of international qualifications (Develop local version of O and A levels; Feb 27).

The case of the A-level chemistry exam scripts that were stolen in Britain last year, and the 1993 incident when the then University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate lost the O-level scripts of 259 Singapore students who sat the English literature paper give us the opportunity to think about the kind of national qualifications we ought to have in Singapore.

Some Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Malaysia, have their own equivalent of O and A levels, and these qualifications are accepted as equivalent to Britain's GCSE and A-level exams by leading universities around the world.

Our Ministry of Education and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board can work closely with university admission offices, institutes of higher learning, employers and professional bodies around the world to promote the recognition of a local version of O and A levels.

Our education policy should not be static, and we should let go of our past as a former colony to develop rigorous, relevant and world-class local qualifications.

Karen Koo (Madam)