MTL Exemptions

Published Date: 06 November 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Darryl David, Ang Mo Kio GRC


To ask the Minister for Education (Schools) for the past five years (a) how many primary school students have sought exemption from being assessed on their mother tongue subjects due to learning difficulties based on diagnosed conditions; and (b) how many of such cases have been approved by the Ministry.


1. A student with special needs may be considered for exemption from Mother Tongue Language (MTL) if he or she has been certified with Special Educational Needs that severely affect the student’s ability to cope with MTL and with overall learning.

2. Over the past 5 years, around 2% of the PSLE cohort received MTL exemption each year due to special educational needs.

3. Students with special educational needs who are coping with their overall studies but have difficulty with the Standard MTL curriculum can consider the option of offering MTL at a lower level. The Foundation MTL curriculum at Primary 5 and 6, and the MTL ‘B’ curriculum at Secondary and Junior College levels are focused on the development of oral and listening skills, and have a much reduced demand on writing skills.

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