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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