Workers’ Party (WP) parliamentarian Gerald Giam said he is intimately aware of the stress students and parents face with the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) because he has experience tutoring his daughter.
All Primary 6 students this year will sit for their PSLE written tests, from Thursday (1 Oct).
On Monday (28 Sept), Mr Giam drew from his own experiences of tutoring his daughter and gave wise advice to the students and parents who are preparing for the last leg of the PSLE. He wrote on Facebook:
“It’s the home stretch for the PSLE! The four exams with the most weight — both in marks as well as pressure on our 12-year olds — are scheduled for this week and next. As the parent responsible for tutoring our Dear Daughter for three out of four subjects, I’m aware of the stress many parents and children are going through now.”
He added: “I am not going to give some pep talk telling children that “grades are not everything”. Of course they are not, but they rank pretty high this week.
“An analogy from tennis, my daughter’s favourite sport, seems apt right now: Play one point and one game at a time. If you make a mistake, put it behind you and focus on the next point. Don’t focus on the score, but on executing each shot well. Enjoy the match!”
The PSLE is a national examination in Singapore taken by all students near the end of their sixth year in primary school before they move on to secondary school.
The exam was widely considered a great source of pressure for 12-year-olds since their scores seemed to determine the rest of their educational future under the streaming system.
The streaming system divides students according to their PSLE scores and places them in one of three streams: the Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams.
Those who did well in the PSLE and make it to Express stream more easily attended junior colleges and polytechnics at the tertiary level while those who performed less well in the PSLE had poorer prospects.
Some of the stress associated with the PSLE was alleviated last year when the Government announced that it will abolish streaming.
The streaming system will be phased out by 2024 and and will be replaced with full subject-based banding. Despite this, the PSLE remains a major exam that has longstanding effects on a student’s academic future.
It's the home stretch for the PSLE! The four exams with the most weight — both in marks as well as pressure on our…