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Time needed for parents to change mindset of chasing ‘good schools’

The new Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scoring system announced recently raises much interest and discussion among parents.

Time needed for parents to change mindset of chasing ‘good schools’

Parents will continue to want their children to have a competitive edge because many of them still find it hard to accept their children ending up in a ‘so-so secondary school’ after PSLE. TODAY file photo

The new Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) scoring system announced recently raises much interest and discussion among parents.

In my view, no matter how the system is changed, it may not necessarily reduce stress levels for both parents and children.

Parents will continue to want their children to have a competitive edge because many of them will still find it hard to accept their children ending up in a “so-so secondary school” after PSLE.

The notion that “all schools are good schools” has yet to sink in fully in parents’ minds and it will take time for parents here to switch their current focus from chasing “good schools” to embracing the new learning and development concept that the new scoring system aims to inculcate.

One can envisage that parents will continue to push their children to secure better grades — now it is the Achievement Level (AL) bands with the new scoring system, not the T-score.

The new system may also cause some parents to feel a bit insecure navigating the unknown, and they may push even harder for their children to excel in it, with more tuition and the like. Such self-induced stress will always be there.

The good thing is that there are useful moderations pegged to the new scoring system, such as choices of application for schools, balloting and so on. These would hopefully make things less stressful for parents and students.

The greatest change that this new system is supposed to elicit is a mindset change. With the clock ticking away from now until 2021, more things can be done by schools and the Education Ministry to alleviate the fear and uncertainty that parents feel, to help them have more confidence in the new system.

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