Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The PSLE - Is it so difficult to see what the problem really is?

Gigamole is glad to see the discussions about childhood education shift towards the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). To scrap or not to scrap, seems to be the focus of the debate. To Gigamole, it seems they are missing the point. An exam is necessary at the end of Primary Six. There is no doubt about this. But people are (deliberately, perhaps) forgetting that Singapore has compulsory education up to Primary Six. The PSLE is appropriately named the Primary School Leaving Examinations. The PSLE should not be anything other than a competency exam. Somewhere along the way, the Ministry of Education allowed the PSLE to morph and mutate to become the grotesque thing it now is. Currently the PSLE is an uber-competitive exam to identify top students who can be streamed into elitist schools to fuel an even more uber-elitist agenda. The banding of schools serve no other function that to feed this elitist mindset. To disband the schools is however, only a symptomatic response to the real problem, which is that as long as the PSLE remains a competitive exam, parents will relentlessly drive their children into excelling so that they will have a chance to enter elitist secondary schools.

Gigamole says that if you really want our children to have a proper educational experience and a wholesome childhood you need to remake the PSLE into just a competency exam. That's really what is only required at Primary Six. Is this so difficult to see?

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