New PSLE grading system may not be all good

The modification of the Primary School Leaving Examination scoring system might not be a good thing, as pupils may feel even more pressured to do well due to the greater significance placed on grade bands ("Primary: No more PSLE aggregate score from 2021"; April 9).

For example, under the current system, a pupil may be accepted into a secondary school that has a cut-off point of 250. He may not have scored straight As; he might have got three A*s and a B.

Under the new scoring system, with the highest band pupils can obtain being an A, this pupil's results (three As and a B) may not appear as appealing.

Thus, while the new scoring system may address the issue of pupils being differentiated more finely than necessary, it will give rise to a less precise system.

Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng has pointed out that the way the PSLE aggregate score is calculated may have resulted in unhealthy competition among children.

But the eradication of aggregate scores will not reduce competitiveness. Pupils will still need to outshine their peers to get into their dream school.

The education system will remain competitive as long as our meritocratic values remain.

Since the system has delivered good results, perhaps stress and competitiveness may not be bad things after all.

Cynthia Chan Wen Xin (Miss)