Education Movement Underway to Shift Away from Overemphasis on Academic Results

Published Date: 24 September 2021 09:00 AM

News Forum Letter Replies

《改变过度重视学业成绩的教育思维》

感谢郑晓先生九月十七日在《联合早报·言论》发表评论文章《对补习行业现状的看法》。文中提出对新加坡补习风气的看法,以及对我国教育体系的建议。

家长送子女上补习班的原因不一而足,但都出于对孩子的关心,毕竟有些孩子课后可能需要额外的帮助或推动力。学校已经为这些学生提供额外的辅助,也和自助团体合作,为有需要的学生提供负担得起的补习服务。有些学生则因自身的兴趣与热忱,报读增益课程。

我们要关注的是确保补习不会给孩子增加过多的负担,更不会削弱学生自主学习的能力,因为自主学习是与时俱进的关键技能。私人补习中心也不应为了牟利,而在家长群中制造焦虑感。因此,我们希望家长在为子女报读补习或增益班时要三思而行。

教育部致力于从根本上解决那些导致补习需求增加的关键因素。近年来,教育部推行《学无止境》(Learn for Life) 计划,推出多项政策改革,旨在改变家长和学生的心态,培养学生的乐学精神,减低对学业成绩的过度重视。

在教育体制方面进行一系列的改革,如取消过渡年级(小三、小五、中一、中三)的年中考试,以腾出更多时间,让学生循序渐进,深化学习。从今年起,新的小六会考积分等级制将有助于减少对于考试成绩的精细区分。到2024年,中学全面推行科目编班计划 (Full Subject-Based Banding) ,让学生能灵活选择适合自身优势和兴趣的学习进度。学生若在中学表现良好,也可选修较高水平的科目,因此小六会考成绩对于学生未来求学道路的影响也将相对减弱。如此一来,家长在准备让孩子加入像高才教育计划 (Gifted Education Programme) 等特别项目时,应慎重考虑此举是否真的对孩子有益,以免拔苗助长,影响他们的自信心及全面发展。

为了肯定学生的各种才华与特长,教育部也扩大了直接招生计划 (Direct School Admission),以及通往大专院校的能力导向收生计划。

整个教育体系进行了显著的改革,为的就是改变"一考定终身"的现象,同时帮助每个孩子发挥自己的潜能。但是,就如早报交流站编辑在九月十七日《站长的话》所指出的:鉴于家长对子女学业成绩的高期望,要彻底改变家长对补习需求的观念还有很长的路要走。

我们鼓励家长引导子女重视全面的学习体验,而不只是关注学业成绩。教育部和学校会积极与家长合作,携手培养学生自我管理与自主学习的技能。教育部的网络平台,如"家长指南" (Parent Kits) 和"新加坡学生学习平台" (Singapore Student Learning Space),为家长和学生提供了大量的学习资源。

相信在教育部、学校、家长和广大社群的共同努力下,我们能为孩子们打造一个没有过高期许和压力的乐学氛围,帮助他们迈向更有意义的终身学习之旅。

新加坡教育部
规划司统筹司长
陈沛恩



We thank Zheng Xiao for his feedback on Singapore’s tuition culture and suggestions for our education system (“Views on the current state of tuition industry”, 17 Sep).

There are a variety of reasons why parents send their children to tuition classes. They do it out of care for their children, as some may need the extra help or motivation outside of class. Our schools provide additional help to such students, and also partner Self-Help Groups to offer affordable tuition to those in need. Some other students also pursue enrichment activities out of their own interests and passion.

Where we need to exercise care is in ensuring that tuition does not become an excessive burden to our children, or a substitute for a student's ability to learn independently, which is a crucial skill for thriving in an evolving world. It is also not right for private tuition centres to play up the anxieties of parents for profit. Our objective must be to help our students develop holistically and nurture them to be lifelong learners. As such, we do encourage parents to exercise discretion and due diligence in engaging the services of tuition and enrichment centres.

MOE's approach has been to address the fundamental issues that drive the demand for tuition. In recent years, the Ministry has introduced several policy changes under the Learn for Life movement, which aim to nurture in students the joy of learning, reduce the overemphasis on academic results and transform the mindsets and attitudes of parents and students.

Systemic reforms include the removal of mid-year examinations for transitional years like Primary 3 and 5, as well as Secondary 1 and 3, in order to allow more time and space for deeper and better paced teaching and learning. From this year, the new PSLE scoring system will help to reduce fine differentiation of students' exam results. By 2024, the introduction of Full Subject-Based Banding in secondary schools will provide greater flexibility for students to learn at a pace and rigour suited to their strengths and interests. With Full Subject-Based Banding, the PSLE score is also less deterministic of a student's pathways, as they are able to take subjects at a more demanding level if they do well in the course of secondary school.

In recognition of students' diverse talents and strengths, MOE has also expanded the Direct School Admission scheme, and broadened aptitude-based admissions to the Institutes of Technical Education, polytechnics, and universities.

These are significant shifts across the entire education system to reduce the stakes of any single assessment, and to help each child reach their fullest potential.

Nonetheless, as Zaobao's forum editor pointed out (站长的话, 17 Sep), there remains a long journey in changing mindsets towards demand for tuition, no less because of parental expectations of their child's academic potential.

MOE firmly believes that a child's potential should not be measured solely by their academic performance. Examinations are not the be-all and end-all, and should be regarded as useful checkpoints for children to assess how much they have learnt.

Parents should also carefully consider whether intense preparation and coaching just to enter programmes like the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) is beneficial for their child, and if these programmes meet their real needs and interests. At the end of the day, it would be detrimental to a child's self-confidence and holistic development if he/she struggles to cope with the enriched curriculum.

Parents play an important role in nurturing positive learning dispositions in their children, recognising their strengths and abilities, and ensuring their children have time and space to learn and develop holistically. We encourage them to help their child focus on the whole learning experience, not just the outcome. MOE partners and supports parents in this process, with guidelines and tips on how parents and schools can work together to help children develop self-management skills, and to take ownership of their learning. There is a wide range of learning resources available on MOE platforms, such as Parent Kits and the Singapore Student Learning Space platform, which parents and students can access online.

We are cognisant that the Learn for Life movement will take time to bear fruit. But we already see encouraging signs among students. For example, many have told their teachers that they are now able to learn at a more comfortable pace and also explore different areas of interest, with the time freed up from the removal of mid-year examinations.

We are confident that together with parents and the wider society, we can nurture a joy for learning in children that does not create unhealthy expectations and pressure, but prepares them for a meaningful journey of learning for life.

Mr Tan Pei-En
Divisional Director, Planning Division, Ministry of Education

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