Switch to holistic assessment may add pressure on students

Government’s plan to change current methods of assessment to reduce emphasis on academic achievement may be undermined by the fact that Singaporeans will adapt to compete on whatever terms they are given

The winds of change are blowing hard against the Singaporean obsession with examination results that deprives the young of their childhood and propagates despair in society’s pressure-cooker environment.

In April, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that the aggregate score for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) will be scrapped, and replaced with wider scoring bands from 2021. This will be similar to grading at O and A levels.

The current system involves working out a child’s aggregate T-score based on component subject scores – English, Mother Tongue, mathematics and science – weighted against the range of scores within each cohort.

Most of all, I wonder how fair and meritocratic it is for an educational system to systematically reward those who have spent $50,000 pursuing music as a “talent” from age four, when the educational system itself offers students no violins, no violin teachers, and no access to the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) grading certificates schools ask for.

Read more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/switch-to-holistic-assessment-may-add-pressure-on-students

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