Dispelling 3 fallacies about examinations

Some degree of assessment is necessary, says the writer, but examinations should feature less prominently in our children's educational experience, and not be the millstone around their necks that breeds an aversion to learning, reinventing and innov
Some degree of assessment is necessary, says the writer, but examinations should feature less prominently in our children's educational experience, and not be the millstone around their necks that breeds an aversion to learning, reinventing and innovating.ST FILE PHOTO

On an otherwise un-extraordinary Friday evening, when most 12-year-olds in Singapore were halfway through their momentous Primary School Leaving Examination, Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung announced a slew of changes to the school system that seek to de-emphasise grades.

These include doing away with examinations for Primary 1 and 2 pupils, and mid-year examinations for pupils in Primary 3 and 5 and students in Secondary 1 and 3. In addition, all students from Primary 3 to Secondary 4 or 5 will have no more than one weighted assessment per subject per school term. Across all levels, report books will stop the practice of indicating the students' rankings and the mean subject grades and overall scores.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2018, with the headline 'Dispelling three fallacies about examinations'. Subscribe