When Students in Singapore Will No Longer Be Ranked by Exam
In education there are many problems need to be fixed, one of the problem is depression issue due to school and class rank. In many Asian countries children have to face pressure whether in class or in home. Many people compare their self or their children based on the exam result, in Asian region many people think that intellectual is only based on their performance in class. For instance, they who get high mark in exact science like math, biology and Physics will be considered as smart while the other lesson such as art, sport and other will be considered as less smart compared to they who excellent in exact science.
This pressure sometimes lead to suicide cases, others lead to anxiety. Child Trends in ever published an article showing the chart linking suicide case to education problem based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Education Forum recently published an article saying that Singapore takes different approach for Singaporean children in term of education. Starting in 2019, exams for primary years 1 and 2 students will be abolished. This approach is to make education environment better. Primary and secondary students can study in less competitive environment.
As Singapore’s Education Minster said, “Learning is not a competition”, so that student in Singapore can experience study in less discouraging comparison between peer issues. In this situation student can have more concentration and explore their self.
primary and secondary school report books will also no longer indicate whether a pupil finishes top or bottom of the class, while subject and group averages. Singapore’s new approach to education is in stark contrast to the neighbouring states that crowd the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) education rankings.
We can see that in OECD PISA Results 2015, Singapore set the highest score (1,655) and followed by Hongkong (China), Japan and Macao (China}. In contrast the United Kingdom occupied 22nd place in the ranking by 1,499 and the US in the 30th place by 1,463. US News at 23rd of January 2018 published an article with title “These Are the Top 5 Countries for Education”, the US and the UK placed second and first rank according to the article.
Back to Singapore, the Ministry of Education wants to reduce excessive focus on marks and expecting Singaporean students to be lifelong learners. Therefore, teacher will use assessment to check students performance and give feedback. Mid year exam also will be removed for some older students to give student more time and space in schools.
The world is changing very fast, that being said skills for jobs also become wider. According to World Economic Forum, the Future of Jobs report 2018, analytical thinking, innovation, creativity, originality, problem solving, leadership and social influence become very important. Though, nowadays there are many jobs people can apply, many start up companies are develop and this means there are many opportunity are open.
If we still remember Finland was once the best country for education, or maybe still. There is a documentary about the education in Finland explaining how Finland creates education environment fun and can explore their passion.
To compare with Finland, Japan elementary schools don’t give exam for student till they reached grade four. Instead school curriculum teaches them manner, live and cooperation among peer. They make lunch and clean the school by themselves helped by teachers and staffs. Students also taught to respect other people and to be gentle with animal and nature. Manner become the main focus in the first till third grade.
The new approach of Singapore in education can help students to set their own future and make studying environment less stress and more comfortable.