'Learning is not competition': Singapore to scrape traditional exam rankings

The change will allow students to focus on their learning

News Desk October 07, 2018
The change will allow students to focus on their learning. PHOTO COURTESY: CNR

The Singapore government has decided to abolish the decades-old student ranking system for primary and secondary school children to encourage learning.

Position of a student in his or her class will no longer be indicated in school report books from next year, said a report on Citi Newsroom.

This decision was defended by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung who hopes the move will show students that "learning is not a competition".

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The following information will disappear from reports:

  • Class and level mean

  • Minimum and maximum marks

  • Underlining and/or colouring of failing marks

  • Pass/fail for end-of-year result

  • Mean subject grades

  • Overall total marks

  • L1R5 (English plus five relevant subjects), L1R4 , EMB3 (English, maths, best three subjects) and EMB1 for lower secondary levels

"The change is to allow each student to focus on his or her learning progress and discourage them from being overly concerned about comparisons," said the education ministry in a statement.

The examinations for primary 1 and 2 pupils will also be removed from next year.

"Teachers will continue to gather information about pupils’ learning through discussions, homework and quizzes. Schools will use other ways like qualitative descriptor in place of marks and grades to evaluate pupils’ progress at these two levels," added the statement, released by the education ministry. "Whereas marks of older students will be rounded off before being presented."

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Parent-teacher meetings will relay information pertaining to the child's progress in school though.

“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.

Notwithstanding, the report book should still contain some form of yardstick and information to allow students to judge their relative performance, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses,” said Ong in an address to 1,700 school leaders earlier this week.

This article originally appeared on CNR


Lyman Borgman | 2 years ago | Reply Really good blog,thank you very much for your effort in writing the posts.
Qabalah | 2 years ago | Reply If such system gets introduced in Pakistani universities and schools, then it will provide a great opportunity to the hard working honest students to rise up, instead of those students who are being passed on the basis of favoritism and nepotism.
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