Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/21/2012 04:00 | By Channel NewsAsia

MOE, SEAB to stop listing top—scoring students in all national exams

YOUR SAY: Do you welcome this move?

MOE, SEAB to stop listing top—scoring students in all national exams

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) will stop listing the top—scoring students in all national examinations.

The ministry told Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday that it will stop the current practice of listing the top students for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), and the "O" and "N" Level examinations.

MOE began providing a list of top students in 1999 but has never indicated the top scorers for the "A" Level examination.

Ahead of the release of the results of this year’s PSLE on Thursday, MOE said the focus will be on the performance of the whole cohort.

This is in line with the importance of recognising the students for their holistic development and all—round excellence.

Amid the current debate on the pressure the PSLE exerts on parents and students, MOE hopes the change will balance the over—emphasis on academic results.

MOE said this does not mean that academic achievement will no longer be celebrated.

Students who have done well academically will still receive recognition for their hard work, such as through the Edusave Awards and scholarships.

At the school level, schools may continue to celebrate their students’ achievements to recognise their students’ efforts and to use this platform for students to express their appreciation to teachers and parents.

MOE hopes that this change will enable it to foster a better balance in emphasis and help parents and students understand that academic performance is just one aspect of a student’s overall development and progress.

MOE stressed that each student deserves to be commended for his or her effort and progress.

— CNA/de

YOUR SAY: Do you welcome this move? Do think the change will balance the over-emphasis on academic results? Sign in below with your Windows ID and post your comments


Nov 20, 2012 6:28PM
it is a good move as it is fair but in individual schools it could be a booster to other students as to be the best in the school and also announce it using the notice board . There will be also be lesser children wasting their precious life by commiting suicide over an PSLE Examination results. so please abolish this country wide advertisment that schools are using to make their school famous and poor parents always want the best for their children.
Nov 21, 2012 1:59AM
LOL I have so many down votes... You people are strange.

Think for yourselves, please. Releasing the names of top performers DOESN'T put more pressure on students and it DOESN'T drive primary school children to suicide... It is PARENTS who are responsible for doing that.

So what if MOE continues to publicize the top students? If parents decide not to pay any attention to it, the negative effect on their kids would be negligible. ZERO.

I guess all you supporters of this move must similarly support the Govt withholding information about Temasek's investments, our CPF funds, and the Internal Security Act. Hey, as long as we don't know stuff, it can't hurt us right?
Nov 20, 2012 6:10PM
Over emphasis, no good for the kids. When get 2nd in future, can't take and do stupid thing. U call that good, hey u never know what goes through the mind of these kids.
Nov 20, 2012 8:39PM
The practise that should never have started has finally ended!!!
Nov 20, 2012 8:25PM
This should had never been started in the first place. Academic performance is only but one of the criteria in the asssessment of a student overall achievement and listing of top scoring students is nothing but an advertisment for the school concerned.
Nov 20, 2012 9:48PM

The primary school registration scheme must be completely revamped if we truly want a level starting point for our children and do away with the stress of choosing a school for them. Only a child with sibling in the school be allowed direct entry. All others are to be registered according to how close are their homes from the schools of their choice. In this way we can have a more diverse cohorts.

Nov 21, 2012 1:53AM
I don't understand why there is a need to announce the top students from some schools every year.  I further find it irritating whenever I see pictures of top students in Brands advertisement.  What are all these media coverage for?  Does it mean if you are not named the top student or your face is not in the advertisement that you've not made it?   Success and definitely happiness is not measured by being top PSLE scorers!  For purpose of allowing each student to assess their performance, I think it is ok to announce the top score for the year, further the mean, median and mode score shown by each school should retain to facilitate selection of schools.

Nov 20, 2012 8:31PM
I think that is a good idea, but companies, stat boards and ministries will still require the results. Is the process now invisible and in the process open to more abuse?
Nov 20, 2012 9:21PM
Celebrating scholastic achievement has been part of our Asian culture. Why is it now that recognizing academic achievement is "elitism", but worshipping Entertainment Industry and Sports figures is cool and acceptable? Are we to blindly follow the western culture of celebrating "mediocre performance" in school now?
Nov 24, 2012 1:13AM

It is the people that make up any organization.

If there is no good or bad school, does it mean

1. there is no good and bad principal?

2. there is no good and bad teacher?

3 there is no good and bad student?

Then why rank there? It is just matter of opinion.

If we expand the same thinking then there is

1. good or bad companies?

2 good or bad employer?

3. good or bad employee?

4. good or back government?

5 good or bad minister?

6 good or bad tuition centre/teacher?

7. good and bad maid?

Then why are we making so much noise?

Nov 20, 2012 8:44PM
We ALL KNOW there are good schools and bad schools. This act of hiding information is meant to obfuscate that fact and make it harder for parents to discern between the two.

I'm not sure why people are supporting this; any move by the Govt to make information less transparent is NEVER good.

Nov 20, 2012 11:10PM

No one can guarantee in future that if your child holds a Degree holder, can be successful & rich, nor if he/she’s a ITE/Diploma holder will be in low paid jobs. Many years ago, when we went to school to take our “O” level, some didn’t make it to University & went to local Polytechnic to take up some Engineering courses. Few years later, that person could be working as Project Manager or Senior Engineer, drawing monthly salary of SG$4-6K. Is he considered unsuccessful since he did not have a Degree? Albert Einstein once said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”. Our lifetime experiences shouldn’t be limited to only certificates alone, but a complete learning lifetime experiences.

In few cases, some higher educated people stopped to learn when they think they have know more, and instead some lower educated people can shows much positive learning altitude, look around your workplace and maybe you can find some. The day we died is the day we stopped learning. Isn’t it the case?

BTW, there are no GOOD or BAD schools, except only LAZY or HARDWORKING students. Some "BAD" or not-so-good resulted schools you called, do produce top "O" levels student, take a look at past few years newspaper.

Nov 21, 2012 9:15PM
I think the person who scored top for PSLE should be made known to only the student himself.
I will be collecting my PSLE results later, Good luck to all P6s! [22/11/2012, 11:15am]
Nov 20, 2012 8:43PM
This is in line with the importance of recognising the students for their holistic development and all—round excellence. - If this is so, I just wonder why it took so long to realize this invaluable importance! What happened to those who have attained top scores in the past decades? They didn't get their 'holistic development?'

Anyway, better late than never! Here are are my further suggestions:

1. All primary and secondary schools must have "Moral Instruction" classes at least once or twice a week and these classes have to be taken seriously.

2. There should be an increase in the number of PE periods allocated in Primary schools. In Secondary school, too, the importance of PE should be emphasized - not merely to become national champions, (though it is good), but to mingle with all races. I firmly believe 'racial harmony' begins here - playing together for fun, while it also gives them the right physique.

3. Both for Moral instruction and PE lessons, there should be qualified teachers to handle such classes. For instance, a maths teacher teaches maths, a science teacher teaches science, but when it comes to English or languages, any one can teach! Why isn't there a requirement for a an "English degree" for teachers of English? I wonder if the same goes for MT teachers? Likewise, Moral instruction and PE lessons should not be taken lightly.

4. I just wonder if there's any regulation for English language teachers in private schools. It is so ridiculous to see those who have no qualifications teaching English! In what way does a Caucasian qualify to teach English just because he's a Caucasian? Can a Chinese be a Chinese teacher just because he's a Chinese? Or can an Italian be an Italian teacher just because he's born Italian? Why aren't private schools aware of the importance of an English language degree requirement for teachers of English? One can see tourists and backpackers being absorbed as teachers of English! Do we not have enough teachers of English yet?
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