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No PSLE? A really bad idea [opinion]

    There have been calls to have no PSLE for primary schools. That is a baaaaaadddddd idea.

    No PSLE? Thread carefully

    Luckily, there have been a push back. In the context of the Singaporean eduscape, I think the idea of no PSLE will be deadly.

    Whilst some ‘kind soul‘ want to alleviate student pressures, they are not themselves subject to the situation.

    It’s easy to talk and talk is cheap. But they don’t have to clean up after the fact. Most importantly, it will not affect them directly.

    Why I think it is not a good idea

    Currently in Singapore, there are a growing number of JC students who are on a through train program from secondary school. At the end of the 4 years of their education, they bypass the O levels and head straight into A levels or IBs.

    When I am in class with these students, I see that they carry on their shoulders a world of burden.

    Not only do they have to pass, they also have to do well enough to get into a local university.

    Otherwise all they have for show will be a lowly PSLE certificate (if they fail). This can only mean they quickly run out of options afterwards.

    As is, it is not uncommon to hear about students who end up with psychological scars. With some even continuing down the path of suicide as a way to find release from the stress.

    Or the detrimental effects of stress on academic performance here and here just to name a few.

    This is in addition to a hard cap on local university admissions.

    No PSLE? It will be deadly to students!

    Imagine a no PSLE environment for a moment.

    This will mean that these students if they don’t do well in A levels will end up with nothing at all.

    Instead of focusing on the idea of no PSLE, why not try to improve the teaching quality in schools? That way students will have better preparations for exams isn’t it?

    Otherwise, open up to the idea of accepting students into the university without prejudice of top grades? Let students who want to go in to medicine or law without scoring in the top band of their cohort.

    Bottom line: No PSLE, find new solutions rather than introduce new problems

    But alas, this will never happen.

    I talked about why the universities will not open up the floodgates.

    Also, because this will mean that MOE as well as NIE have to focus on actual teaching and teacher training instead of relying on the system to sort itself out.

    Not to mention the God complexes some teachers develop in their career – I call them the unteachable teachers. These people think they are the best even though they are receding in teaching quality every year.

    Which is why whatever the MOE dictates, the tuition centers have to pick up the slag.

    Because we are frequently the last hope for the students tossed about according to the whims and fancy of the next/new education minister.

    That is, in essence, the messy real world of the Singaporean education system.

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