Review direct school admissions scheme

The new move to tighten the appeal process for secondary schools and junior colleges is said to benefit students in the long run because it allows them to study in a more suitable environment, at a more appropriate pace and with teachers better suited to teach students of their ability ("Sec 1 postings: Harder to switch schools"; Dec 29, 2015, and "Stricter rules on JC transfers"; Jan 15).

This argument may apply to the Direct School Admissions (DSA) scheme as well.

The DSA scheme allows students to demonstrate a more diverse range of achievements and talents in seeking admission to their desired school.

However, DSA students do not need to do as well as students who enter the school via the posting exercise after the release of results.

This is similar to students who miss the cut-off point but appeal to enter the school.

Ultimately, schools are academic institutions - students can be brilliant at their co-curricular activity, but academic results still take centre stage.

The best way to achieve good academic results is to ensure that one has a suitable learning environment.

While the DSA scheme should not be scrapped, so that excellence beyond academic grades can continue to be recognised, I urge the authorities to thoroughly review it, as they are doing for the appeal process, to examine how far it can truly benefit students in the long run.

Ng Chia Wee