July 31, 2019
Singapore’s Education Minister, Ong Ye Kung, is making huge changes to the current education system to show students that learning is not a competition.
Under the new system, pupils will be graded according to broad achievement bands. Report cards/books will not longer include a student’s position in relation to the class, failing marks, and subject grades.
This is part of a larger move away from an overemphasis on grades, and is aimed at measuring a child’s own level of achievement, apart from that of his or her peers.
In an address to some 1,700 school leaders this week, Ong said: “I know that coming in first or second, in class or level, has traditionally been a proud recognition of a student’s achievement. But removing these indicators is for a good reason, so that the child understands from young that learning is not a competition, but a self-discipline they need to master for life.”
The Minister of Education said that teachers will continue to gather information about pupils’ learning through discussions, homework and quizzes.
“This is a period in which the education system is undergoing significant reform, not by one single measure but by a whole package of measures that we have systematically implemented over time. Under this system, we will be able to better prepare our children for the future,” said Ong.
“They can focus on their own achievements, as opposed to having to be compared to others,” he added.
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