Why PSLE will remain as is

Donald low, an Associate Dean at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, recently put forward the idea of scrapping the PSLE.

I applaud his vision but to be honest is one I think will never come to fruition. And there are at least 3 reasons why not.

First, there are 190 primary schools (as of 2016) in Singapore. That means there are at least 380 principals and their deputies. Folding the primary schools into the secondary schools (if we get rid of PSLE) will mean functional and administrative redundancies. Where are these people going to go to?

Second, this article comes up with very strong supporting examples of why great exam performance have high correlation with availability of career options. So if the gatekeepers don’t change admission policies (and they have not), this will mean status quo.

Third, there are and we will continue to have IP students who will not make it pass the GCE ‘A’ levels because of how difficult the exams are. And to make matters worse, they don’t take O level exams. If these students fail, their highest recognized qualification will be the PSLE and can be useful for reference as they opt for alternative options (e.g. polytechnic programs). Dropping the PSLE will mean that these poor students have absolutely nothing in their academic qualifications after spending almost 2 decades in the education system.

In conclusion, Donald is as guilty a party for how the education system turned out. His employer the NUS is a major gatekeeper admitting only the best students. For example in the acad year 2016/17, they only enrolled 301 students for medicine and 55 students for dentistry. COMMENT.


  • On January 25, 2017