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02.10.2018 Education

No More School Exams, Learning Is Not Competition - Singapore Gov't

By Magdalene Teiko Larnyoh -
No More School Exams, Learning Is Not Competition - Singapore Gov't
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The government of Singapore wants to show their students that learning is not a competition.

According to the Education Minister Ong Ye Kung starting from next year the children's position in class will not be indicated on their report books.

This will apply to students in primary and secondary school. The Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said this will show students that 'learning is not a competition'.

Aside from the position which will not be on the report book, other information will also be removed from the report book. These are;

• Class and level mean
• Minimum and maximum marks
• Underlining and/or colouring of failing marks

• Pass/fail for the end-of-year result
• Mean subject grades
• Overall total marks
• L1R5 (English plus five relevant subjects), L1R4, EMB3 (English, maths, best three subjects) and EMB1 for lower secondary levels

The change is to ensure that each student focuses on his or her learning progress and to discourage them from being overly concerned about comparisons.

Meanwhile, from next year all examinations for Primary 1 and 2 pupils will also be removed, and whatever forms of assessment they have will not count towards an overall grade.

The MOE said that teachers will continue to gather information about pupils' learning through discussions, homework, and quizzes. Schools will use other ways like 'qualitative descriptors', in place of marks and grades, to evaluate pupils' progress at these two levels.

The marks for each student in primary schools and secondary schools will be rounded off and presented as a whole number, without decimal points - to reduce the focus on academic scores. Parents will continue to receive information about their child's progress in school during parent-teacher meetings.

Addressing some 1,700 school leaders earlier this week, Mr Ong said: 'I know that 'coming in first or second', in class or level, has traditionally been a proud recognition of a student's achievement. But removing these indicators is for a good reason so that the child understands from young that learning is not a competition, but a self-discipline they need to master for life.'

'Notwithstanding, the report book should still contain some form of yardstick and information to allow students to judge their relative performance, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses,' he added.

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