Home News Education Education Minister says exams help check pupils' progress and are not an...

Education Minister says exams help check pupils’ progress and are not an “end in itself”

Lawrence Wong said that the intention of the exams was to check on each students progress and not an end in itself




- Advertisement -

As schools reopened after the one-week September holidays and students embark on the final term of the school year, new Education Minister Lawrence Wong reminded students and parents that the year-end exams are not an “end in itself” and are meant to help check the progress students are making.

One of the main criticisms of the Singapore education system is about the perceived emphasis on rote learning to prepare for exams that only test for a limited range of skills.

Asserting that the focus seems to be on simply teaching students to pass exams, critics argued that students face high pressure from parents and teachers to get the best grade instead of developing a love for lifelong learning given the widespread notion that one can only get ahead in life by passing exams.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has made refinements to the system, in response to such concerns and calls for reform over the years. Last year, MOE announced that it is getting rid of all exams for primary 1 and 2 students and mid-term exams for primary 3 and 5 students as well as secondary 3 students.

- Advertisement -

Mr Wong’s predecessor, Ong Ye Kung pointed out that there are trade-offs between hard work and student enjoyment, useful academic differentiation and an overcompetitive culture, customisation to cater for a range of abilities and stigmatisation of the less academically able, and between skills and paper qualifications in any educational system, as he announced the changes.

In a Facebook post published on Monday (14 Sept), Mr Wong laid out the Government’s intent behind year-end exams. Noting that many students would be preparing for their final exams as the last school term begins, the minister said that these year-end assessments help the authorities take stock of the progress pupils are making.

Asserting that exams are not meant to be an “end in itself”, he wrote: “Over the years, we have reduced the number of school-based assessments, but for Primary 3 students and older, the year-end exams still remain to help us take stock of our students’ learning.”

“And that’s the intent – to check on the progress of learning; the exam is not an end in itself.”

Giving advice on how parents can support their children as they head into the final term, Mr Wong added: “Parents can help to support their children – remind them to take short breaks amidst their revisions, and also check on how they’re feeling from time to time.

“Hopefully, the term break has provided a good opportunity for everyone to recharge sufficiently for this final stretch of the school year!”

Last month, Mr Wong visited a class of graduating Secondary 4 students at Riverside Secondary School who were anxious about the year-end exams. He recalled: “One student asked me how I manage stress – I shared some ways that help me unwind – playing the guitar, listening to music and going for walks.”

He urged the students: “At the end of the day, just do your best!”

Today is the start of Term 4 and for many, prepping for year-end exams.Over the years, we have reduced the number of…

Posted by Lawrence Wong on Sunday, 13 September 2020

Making sure education remains a social leveller is new Education Minister’s priority

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Josephine Teo: From May 1, Dependant’s Pass holders will need work pass for employment

Singapore — Manpower Minister Josephine Teo announced on Wednesday (March 3) tighter new rules for foreigners on Dependant’s Passes (DP) who want to work in Singapore. From May 1 of this year, they will need to obtain their own work passes, such...

😊 – Rest of the word = Smiley and happy: 😊 – Singapore= Symbol of anarchy

  I just saw a news clip in the Today newspaper, which said that Mr Louise Ng, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC), was being investigated by the police for holding up a “smiley face”, encouraging...

Actor seen on Mediacorp’s Vasantham accused by budding artiste of wanting to sleep with him after “private show”

Update as of Mar 4:   In response to TISG’s queries, Selva said: “There have been troubling allegations surfacing recently. I simply wish to say, I did not send any inappropriate message via Facebook. I believe my account was hacked before this incident, which...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg