Prominent ruling party leaders congratulated students who collected their O-Level examination results on Monday (11 Jan). Despite facing numerous challenges such as school closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2020 achieved the best overall result at O-Level examinations in the past three decades.
Some 99.9 per cent of the 23,688 candidates last year passed the exams, with a pass in at least one subject and 96.8 per cent of students passed at least three subjects. 85.4 per cent of students passed in five or more subjects.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated pupils and praised them for doing well in spite of the adjustments they had to make in view of the pandemic. He wrote on Facebook: “Congratulations to everyone who received your ‘O’ Level results today! You’ve had to keep up your studies from home, as we all struggled to adjust to COVID-19. Well done for persevering in such a difficult period.”
He added: “Do take time to consider your next steps. Whether you’re going on to JC, polytechnic, or other educational institutes, I wish you all the best!”
Mr Lee’s presumptive successor, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, made similar comments and said that students can stand proud given all that they overcame last year. He said, “2020 brought many challenges for students — having to adjust to home-based learning, separation from your peers, cancellation of CCAs, sitting for your exams amid safe management measures.
“But you pulled through, and learned valuable things about yourself and others from this tumultuous period. For the graduating students who sat for the ‘O’ Level examinations in 2020, you can stand proud when you collect your results today.”
Calling on students to reflect on the next steps in their lifelong learning journey, Mr Heng said, “Learning is a lifelong journey, and not every lesson takes place in the classroom.”
He also urged students to thank and celebrate with their parents, teachers, and friends — “all who have walked with you to this milestone and made your learning journey a rich and meaningful one.” The DPM added: “Congratulations to all ‘O’ Level results recipients! I wish you all the very best!”
Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who has been overseeing the Ministry of Education for about six months, urged graduating students to seek Education and Career Guidance (ECG) counsellors for advice on their next steps. In his own Facebook post, Mr Wong wrote:
“Congratulations to those who received their 2020 GCE O-Level results today!
Many of you will be applying to Junior Colleges, Polytechnics or the Institute of Technical Education. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers, parents and ECG counsellors for advice.
“All our secondary schools have ECG counsellors attached to them to help students learn more about their strengths and interests.”
The Minister highlighted the example of Orchid Park Secondary School student Jervin Neoh who initially had a hard time deciding what he really wanted to do next. With the help of his ECG counsellor Ms Vina, Jervin eventually decided to pursue Pharmaceutical Science at Temasek Polytechnic.
Asserting that he is proud of students for showing grit and resilience in spite of the challenges they faced, Mr Wong added: “More importantly, all of you have achieved another milestone in your learning journey.
“It wasn’t easy to prepare for your exams amidst the pandemic. But you have risen to the occasion, and responded with tremendous grit and resilience. We’re proud of your achievements and wish you all the best in your next phase of education!”
Mr Wong’s predecessor Ong Ye Kung, who currently serves as Transport Minister, made the shortest statement on his social media page compared to Mr Wong, Mr Heng and Mr Lee. He wrote: “Well done to all the recipients and good luck to all those collecting their ‘O’ Level results today! Remember, like PSLE, ‘O’ Levels is also one of many milestones of your lifelong learning journey, and your future is for you to make.”