Should PSLE be scrapped off? What is PSLE? The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is basically an examination taken by Primary 6 students before they go onto their Secondary School education. As different Secondary Schools have different cut-off points based on the previous intake, schools with higher cut-off points are usually regarded as the better ones. Naturally, parents would prefer their child to get into a better school, as they believe that these schools will offer their children a better education.
Other than PSLE, there is also other ways a student can get into their desired Secondary School such as the Direct School Admission (DSA). Students who are able to choose the DSA approach are usually more sports or art inclined. The Ongoing Debate Recently, many Singaporeans have considered PSLE as the ‘do or die’ examination. The reason is because parents are feeling too much pressure on account of the PSLE. Many parents want their children to get into brand name schools, causing them to feel stressed and worried. “People take secondary school admission so very seriously. If I don’t get into that school, then my kid has no chance in life’,” said Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong. Mr Lee also mentioned that ‘every school is a good school’ so that they can get the pressure off the parents. However, not every parent in Singapore is pressurized by the fact that his or her children may not be able to get into a good Secondary School. Housewife Sandy Lee, 40, said she enrolled her son Zong Wei in Townsville Primary as she felt that the principal and teachers cared for the pupils. She is also not too worried about her son’s PSLE results.
She said: “I don’t want to pressure him too much, as long as he can get into a secondary school. ” And with this in mind, there is an ongoing debate on whether the PSLE should be abolished as it is causing too much stress on Singaporean students and parents as well. One of the The Straits Times’ current affairs website readers asked if Singapore could reduce the reliance on exams, and even do away with the PSLE. This emerged among the top 10 most pressing questions that people wanted the Prime Minister to answer, according to a week-long poll on the website that drew over 21,000 votes.
The stress that comes with PSLE is something that needs to be looked at, but scrapping the exam or tweaking the assessment criteria may not be the solution, said Senior Minister of State Lawrence Wong. My Personal Experience I’ve taken PSLE in the year 2007 and I have to admit that PSLE was pretty stressful for me. Every day after school, I had to go for supplementary lessons conducted by teachers till 5 to 6pm every day and then head home for dinner before revising again. During the weekends, I had to attend tuition and there was no playtime for me.
I did that continuously for 4 to 5 months before PSLE. My parents have always supported me throughout that period of time and were always cheering me on. They have never given me any stress. Instead, they asked me to set a goal for myself and to ask myself, “What do I want in life? ” After knowing what I want in life, everything felt like it was worth it and after PSLE ended I had 2 months of holiday just purely relaxing and enjoying myself as I felt like I gave my best and had no regrets.
So, should PSLE be scrapped off? My personal opinion In my opinion, I think that PSLE is a very good way of gauging a student’s learning pace. A school with a lower cut-off point doesn’t mean that it is a bad school; it’s just a school for students with a slower learning pace. The main problem with PSLE is the stress that it’s causing for students and I believe that it is because many students are just like the me I was back then, learning what it feels like to be stressed for the first time.
In life, everything has its first time and if a student is not able to deal with the stress from PSLE, he or she will never be able to deal with the stress in Secondary School. Hence, I strongly believe that PSLE should not be scrapped off. Conclusion Let the students taking PSLE work towards a goal set by themselves and not their parents. This way, students will drive themselves towards it. And after all of it, it’ll be worthwhile. Reference: Chia, S & Toh, K. (2012, September 22).
Scrapping PSLE Not The Solution: Lawrence Wong. Ministry of Education, Singapore: Education in the News. Retrieved on November 18, 2012 from http://www. moe. gov. sg/media/news/2012/09/scrapping-psle-not-the-solutio. php Au Yong, J. (2012, 27 September). PSLE stays but needs relook: PM. The Straits Times. Retrieved November 18, 2012 from Factiva Database. Goh, C. L. (2012, 17 November). PSLE not the be-all and end-all: PM. The Straits Times. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from Factiva Database.