Why secondary school choice is important under new PSLE scoring system

MOE needs to balance the desire of non-affiliated students to gain admission into secondary schools against those from affiliated schools, says Mr Sng Chern Wei. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - With the new PSLE scoring system coming into force this year, Ministry of Education (MOE) deputy director-general of education (curriculum) Sng Chern Wei addresses common questions from parents on the rationale behind the changes.

Q: Why has MOE made school choice count more under the new scheme?

A: If more than one pupil with the same PSLE score is vying for the last available place in a school, citizenship will be the highest priority followed by school choice order.

The decision to make school choice a second tie-breaker is meant to recognise "the careful choices" made by parents and pupils when selecting a school.

Q: Why is citizenship the first tie-breaker and not school choice?

A: The ministry wants to ensure that citizenship has certain privileges. Citizenship was already a tie-breaking factor in the T-score system.

Q: Why does MOE insist that those applying for affiliated schools must list them as their first choice?

A: It will not be fair to pupils without affiliation if pupils can put an affiliated school as their last school choice and still have priority ahead of a child with no affiliation but a much better PSLE score.

The ministry needs to balance the desire of non-affiliated students to gain admission into secondary schools against those from affiliated schools.

Pupils from affiliated primary schools who wish to enjoy affiliation priority have to express this by putting their affiliated secondary school as their first choice.

"That's a very strong statement (for the pupil to say) that I want to enjoy (being in the school) and I'm prepared to put it as my first choice," Mr Sng said.

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