Parliamentary Replies

May 06, 2019

Higher Chinese at Primary One level

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, Nee Soon GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (a) what is the current demand for Higher Chinese at Primary One level; (b) which are the schools that offer Higher Chinese at Primary One level; and (c) whether the Ministry will increase the number of schools which are currently offering Higher Chinese or Higher Mother Tongue.

Response

1. All primary schools already offer Higher Chinese to students who have the interest and ability to do so. Demand for Higher Chinese is healthy. Over the past five years, over a quarter of Chinese students offer Higher Chinese at PSLE.

2. Many Primary schools start offering Higher Chinese from Primary Three, and all will offer it from Primary Five. This is in line with our priorities in lower primary education – to ensure students settle well in school, and build a strong foundation in literacy, numeracy and social skills – rather than to specialise them too early.

3. This will also allow schools to make use of the two years of Chinese Language instruction at Primary One and Two to assess if the child has the interest and ability to offer Higher Chinese from Primary Three. Even without offering Higher Chinese, however, the Chinese Language curriculum at Primary One and Two is designed with enrichment modules to stretch students with stronger ability and interest.