SINGAPORE - From next year, edusave awards at the lower primary levels will recognise pupils' attitudes to learning, such as diligence, curiosity and enthusiasm, rather than reward students who perform well academically.
This change is to support the reduction in school-based assessments.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced to school heads at the annual Workplan Seminar earlier this week that it would remove final-year examinations for Primary 2 pupils from next year. The exams are the only current mode of formal assessment for students at that level.
The change means that from next year, both Primary 1 and 2 students will not be graded formally.
MOE will thus adjust the academic criteria for the Edusave Merit Bursary for Primary 1 and 2 pupils, and Good Progress Award for Primary 2 and 3 pupils.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said the removal of exams at the Primary 1 and 2 level is "an administrative obstacle we will overcome".
He said: "It is important to retain these awards, as they celebrate students' academic success and learning milestones."
MOE would use "qualitative descriptors" instead of marks to gauge the children's progress, according to the minister.
"Teachers can observe the demonstration of positive traits in students like diligence, curiosity, collaboration, and enthusiasm through daily lessons and learning activities," he said.
"It is not as quantitative and standardised as school-based examinations, but qualitative judgment is a fact of life, and we can apply that on the Edusave Merit Bursary and Good Progress Award for young students who just entered the school system."