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  • Principal Patrick Low

Is Reduction Of Examinations Better For Our Children?

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

In the speech given by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education – MoE last year, it was mentioned: to help students build their confidence and develop an intrinsic motivation to learn during the transition, we should be less hasty in testing and examining students during these critical years.... In 2019, we will remove all weighted assessments in P1 and P2, as well as the mid-year examination in S1.

The education system in Singapore has indeed produced many elites. However, what has it done to our children’s confidence and intrinsic motivation? Do our children enjoy what they learn? Are they earnestly looking forward to each lesson in school?

Why is making MoE taking such a step?

MoE is looking to put back the interest of learning and reduce the impact of results on students. Our children should have a natural inward desire to want to find out more.

When their desire is fulfilled, there would come about a sense of enjoyment and possibly growing interests. With this intrinsic motivation, it would bring about creativity, that could be boundless.

Our current education system of routine CA1, SA1. CA2 and SA2 examinations sets in place a cycle not just for the students, but also for the parents. Upon every release of results, majority of parents automatically dip into a frantic mode, if the results are not satisfactory. A motion of rampage search for the most qualified tutor or tuition centre, or even crash courses begins. Current tutors that has not helped in the delivery of desired results are most probably replaced immediately.

Majority of parents get upset over the child for not being able to achieve the required grades, rather than focusing on the progress that has taken in other areas of the child, such as character development, increase in confidence level, etc?

Punishments such as cold therapy from the child’s beloved items such as mobile phones and computers are set in place. In replacement are tons of assessment books and

grilling hours of revision classes.

As an Educator, we feel that by reducing the number of examinations, this indivertibly reduces the stress that children are facing. Our children should be developing passion and curiosity in new areas, instead of having to deal with frustration and failure. They should continue to grow into more sophisticated thinkers, learners, and doers, than get stuck in running the rat race. Our children should play a role to revolutionize, rethink and create processes to play a role in the new economy, instead of becoming part of a stagnant pond.

Are we preparing our children for the future?

Even as MoE prepares the changes to the structure of the education system and the educators. Are we as parents ready to take on, and move on with the changes?

Child Studying

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