‘I am all for slaying the PSLE sacred cow,’ wrote a member of parliament in his blog. The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) issue once again came under the spotlight. Popular opinions have been rising for scrapping the PSLE, for it puts unnecessary stress on young students and limits their holistic development. However, proponents of the system have been equally strong in their support for the exam, arguing that no viable alternative exists to ensure the fairness of selection. According to an online poll, the PSLE has been ranked the top ten most pressing issues faced by Singaporeans. It is high time for us to engage in the debate, as education is becoming more and more important in determining the future of a child and the the nation as a whole. So, should we abolish PSLE? Pressure
Let us examine the reasons why some people call for the removal of the exam. First, the national exam puts too much pressure on students and families. The present system uses the results of the exam to decide which secondary school a student can enter. With increasing unequal distribution of resources, such as the implementation of integrated programs by some top-notched junior colleges, the exam scores for the PSLE have more far-reaching consequences in determining how far a student can go in the future. That’s why the exam has become a war for many families, and some literal deaths, seen in students committing suicide failing to cope with stress, are strong warning to society that is increasingly obsessed with the final exam scores. Unfairness
Secondly, it may not be entirely meritocratic if we segment students too early into different streams, while the potential of a Should we abolish PSLE
Should we abolish PSLE
student may not be fully realized or reflected by the PSLE results. Students in Finland do not take any standardized exams until they are 16 years old, when Singaporeans students have become veterans for exams. The early streaming is harmful to social mobility...
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