SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that it is important to find the right balance to handle stress in schools without compromising strengths in developing the children.
Speaking at the 30th anniversary celebrations of Townsville Primary School, he also assured that all primary schools in Singapore are good schools.
Townsville, for example, provides a well—rounded education with a niche in its arts.
PM Lee said there are many other good schools in Singapore excelling in their own niches.
He stressed that every student will get a good education no matter the school he or she attends.
But PM Lee acknowledged that there will still be some pressure.
PM Lee said: "We have to find the right balance so that we don’t want to have excessive pressure. Where there is, we have to make adjustments, tone it down.
"But we must not compromise our strengths in developing our children and in preparing you (students) for the world which is going to be very competitive and in the jobs that you (students) are going to do."
PM Lee Lee added: "Students have to work hard. There’s pressure and that’s necessary because if students can relax and just enjoy themselves everyday then you (students) don’t have to go to school.
"But the pressure has to be just right —— not too little, not too much. And if it’s too much, I think that can be a problem and sometimes the pressure is greater than we would like especially during key exams."
And that is why PM Lee said that the government is reviewing the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).
But he also stressed the importance of having good attitude towards the examination.
PM Lee said: "Parents have to know that the PSLE is just one examination for the kids. Important, yes, but it’s not the only exam, not the be—all and end—all.
"If you do well, that’s good. But if you’re not on an escalator, if you did not do quite as well as you had expected, it’s a disappointment, but there are other chances in life. Take them.
"There are other chances in school. Work for it. We offer many pathways to success. We make every school a good school. and even if you didn’t get into a secondary school you wanted, there are many other good schools you can go to."
The Education Ministry is reviewing the PSLE as part of a broader review of the education system —— a complex issue which PM Lee said will need time.
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