This tag is associated with 6 posts

Tweaks To DSA Will Not Fix Fundamental Disparities

The latest round of tweaks to the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme – making applications free of charge and centralising the online submission of applications (TODAY, Nov. 7) – will not fix more fundamental disparities between students and the families they come from. Furthermore these changes, and how they have been communicated thus far, are not helped by the lack of more precise data and information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the students who benefit from the DSA: The employment status of their parents, their housing type and household income, and perhaps even their primary schools (and how they were admitted). Continue reading

“The Elite School Student’s Burden”

The class divide in Singapore needs to be bridged, yet the commentaries or responses which followed have tiptoed around structural fixes, focusing instead on superficial gestures which preserve the status quo. In particular, these gestures range from volunteering to social mixing through sports, arts, or heritage activities, prompting a TODAY letter writer to remark that “what we need to overcome this divide is social solidarity, not cosmetic social mixing” (TODAY, Jan. 3). Continue reading

PSLE Changes Set Pace For Long-Term Changes

Short of scrapping the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in its entirety, the introduction of a new scoring system with wider scoring bands in place of a single, comparative T-score may not necessarily reduce the stress of students. In fact, it could be argued that notions of competition and pressure remain necessary, a necessity made even more pronounced given the prospects of an uncertain future. In parliament Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng also emphasised that “stress is an aggregate of different factors and would require a collective paradigm shift” (TODAY, Apr. 9), so expectations of the PSLE changes as a paradigm shift – in this regard – must be tempered. Continue reading