Singapore—Adding a personal touch to the announcement of the new PSLE scoring system, Education Minister Lawrence Wong posted a picture on Facebook on Tuesday (Apr 27) of his very own primary school report book, dating back to 1984.
Mr Wong, 48, will be leaving the Ministry of Education (MOE) to replace Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as Finance Minister on May 15.
He also added an anecdote about how supportive his parents had been of his choices in school, even as he wrote that he does not remember what his PSLE score had been.
“But I do recall selecting Tanjong Katong Technical as my preferred secondary school – that was the school nearest to my home, and it was also where most of my friends were going.
“We all thought it would be great to continue in the same school together. My parents gave me the latitude to consider my school options, and supported fully my choice.”
Tanjong Katong Technical Secondary School is now known as Tanjong Katong Secondary School. Mr Wong was a student there after completing his primary education at Haig Boys’ School and then attended Victoria Junior College. Subsequently, on a Public Service Commission scholarship, he read economics as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then did his Master’s in economics at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Mr Wong said that MOE had released the indicative cut-off points under the new PSLE scoring system, which differ across schools, but will, under the new system, “be less finely differentiated.”
He added that this gives students a bigger choice of schools.
“I hope all students will consider your options carefully, and choose a school that best fits your learning needs and interests!,” the Minister wrote.
In a media release on Tuesday, MOE said that the new system is part of the ministry’s “efforts to shift away from an over-emphasis on academic results by reducing fine differentiation of students’ examination results at a young age”.
Furthermore, MOE will be releasing the indicative PSLE Score ranges for individual secondary schools.
The new scoring system means that each student will be scored by Achievement Levels based on their individual performance in PSLE subjects, regardless of how the other examinees have done.
As for Mr Wong’s point about the PSLE Scores being “less finely differentiated” under the new system, MOE wrote that “there are now only 29 possible PSLE Scores compared to more than 200 possible aggregates under the previous T-score system”.
This means that schools will be less differentiated by their Cut-Off Point (COP), as the minister pointed out, giving students a bigger choice of secondary schools to attend.
More details concerning the new PSLE scoring system may be found here.
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