Median T-scores of students who sat for the PSLE

Published Date: 04 January 2021 09:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

NAME AND CONSTITUENCY OF MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Gerald Giam Yean Song, Aljunied GRC

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education (a) in each year from 2011 to 2020, what are the median T-scores of students who sat for the PSLE, broken down by household income quintile; and (b) whether school closures due to COVID-19 disproportionately impacted the academic performance of children from lower income households.

RESPONSE

1. MOE does not collect data on household income of students, except for Singapore citizen students who apply for the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), where the income criterion is set at about the bottom quintile of the national household income. These students on MOE FAS score a wide range of PSLE T-scores. Over the past decade, including for 2020, their median PSLE T-score has been stable at around 164. Likewise, the median PSLE T-score of the entire PSLE cohort has remained stable at around 207 over the past decade.

2. During the implementation of Circuit Breaker in April 2020, teaching and learning continued via Home-based Learning. Schools reached out to students without access to digital devices and internet access, including those from low-income families. Over 20,000 digital devices and 1,600 internet dongles were loaned out to ensure that students were able to continue learning.

3. To further support students' learning, schools invited and welcomed students to use the school facilities with teacher supervision during the Circuit Breaker, and established channels and processes for students to ask teachers for coaching and help with their assignments. Teachers monitored the well-being of vulnerable students and engaged them via various platforms such as regular phone calls and video calls.

4. When in-person classes gradually resumed, teachers took stock of students' learning progress and provided those who needed additional support with the necessary remediation and consultation. These efforts have contributed to ensuring that even our most vulnerable students were able to continue learning during the period of school closure.

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