MOE’s language and promotion policies

November 3, 2007 at 2:55 am Leave a comment

Straits Times Forum, Nov 3 2007

Student ‘Failed’ by Higher Chinese MY DAUGHTER is in Secondary 2. In her recent year-end report, she received an overall ‘Fail’ despite scoring 70.2 per cent in her overall results. She obtained an A1 in English but a D7 (48 marks) in Higher Chinese. I just learnt that it is the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s policy that a student who is in the Special Stream must pass both English and Higher Chinese in order to achieve an overall ‘Pass’, regardless of her performance in the other subjects.

If my husband and I had known about the policy, we would not have encouraged our daughter to take Higher Chinese.

I would like to seek MOE’s clarification on this policy. I find the policy unfair as the medium of instruction for all other subjects is English.

Students are invited to opt for Higher Chinese based on their PSLE scores. Nowhere was it mentioned that a fail in Higher Chinese would constitute an overall ‘Fail’. Most parents and students are aware that failing English would constitute an overall ‘Fail’ but unaware that it applies to Higher Chinese too.

To be fair to students, MOE needs to inform parents and students of this policy before they opt for Higher Chinese.

Margaret Wo Siew Kee (Mdm)


Why keep student in N(T) stream?

MY NIECE did not do well for her PSLE last year and was posted to the Secondary One Normal (Technical) stream. She was upset but we encouraged her to strive harder this year and, hopefully, make it to the Normal (Academic) stream.

The criterion for promotion from N(T) to N(A) set by the Ministry of Education is 70 per cent. She studied hard and obtained more than 70 per cent for the year-end exams and was promoted to the N(A) stream. We were very happy for her.

On the other hand, a friend’s son from another school, who did not do well for the PSLE last year and was also posted to N(T), was not so fortunate.

The boy studied hard and also scored more than 70 per cent in the final exams. He was looking forward to going to the N(A) stream and facing new challenges next year.

Unfortunately, he was not promoted to N(A) although he met the promotion criterion.

The reason given by the principal was that, based on past experience, students that were promoted from N(T) to N(A) were not able to cope with the curriculum.

Hence, the principal decided not to promote any student from N(T) to N(A) although some students met the criterion.

The poor child had been studying very hard, only to be disappointed by the school’s decision. It will have a negative impact on his self-esteem. If the school doesn’t give him a chance, who will?

Why set a benchmark if the school doesn’t abide by it?

I hope schools will give all N(T) students a chance to move up to N(A) if they meet the promotion criterion.

Teo Wei Ling (Mdm)


Entry filed under: education, Singapore.

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