Revamp of Primary School Systems

Revamp of Primary School Systems

Ministry of Education (MOE) is currently reviewing and revising primary education in Singapore.   S$4.5b will be spent in next 10 years to revamp primary school system (see details) .   

There are a few recommendations in this plan that I wanted to point out:

1. One of the highlight is a plan to do away with examinations for students in Primary 1 and 2.   Instead, regular bite-size tests will provide parents a regular updates on the children’s progress.

2. All Primary 1s and 2s will also get more exposure to sports and the arts through their curriculum  under the new Programme for Active Learning (PAL).    These activities will take up to two hours each week.

3. 18 new primary schools be built to aid the move towards a single—session structure by 2016.

4. Schools will get to decide their start and end times, and it will work with the Land Transport Authority and school bus operators on transportation issues.

5. More facilities will also be added for more voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to provide student care services.

6. MOE to improve the standard of its teaching pool such as recruiting only degree—holders for teaching positions by 2015 and more training will also be given to existing teachers.

The recommendations and “results” will be presented in the next few months.    Some of the recommendations above are very good and I am fully supportive of them especially on points (1), (2) and  (5) .  

Good Recommendations

The doing away with the P1 and P2 examinations is the most welcomed news for me and I guess for most parents.   We know that the current system focus very much academically at the very young age and it is very challenging for children with autism.   To delay the start of the examination, it allows the children with autism who are in the mainstream to slowly adapt themselves to the school systems minus the examination pressures.  Autism can’t be diagnosed unless you’re looking for it.   Hopefully, it allows those children who are not assessed with autism earlier to have better chance of being recognised through those regular parents updates and bite-size tests.   Children could also have extra 2 years to pick up the examination skills and having more time and opportunity to improve on their academic weaknesses.   In this way, those children with autism who are in mainstream schools will have more time to adapt, catch up and cope with the challenges of mainstream systems.

More exposure of sports and the arts in their curriculum is a definite plus.  Many of us will agree that the exposure will equip our children with extra skills, improve their attitudes and values.  Hopefully the exposure will make them more confident, more curious and having more desire to learn, communicate better and foster team spirit.   If your child is found to be keen and good in sports or arts,  you might consider alternative routes from the mainstream study after PSLE.

MOE recognised that some children may not have a good home environment to go back to and recommend that more facilities will also be added for more voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to provide student care services.    The plan is to provide children a safe environment and having facilities where a VWO could help them.  


The Primary School Systems is long due for change and this initiative is most welcome although there are some areas of the plan that I would like to see having more details and also like to include some more additional  recommendations that are focused on ASD cases.  See my suggestions to call for all to make some changes now ! 

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1 Comment

  1. *Michael

    It is about time to change the old Primary School System for something easier for children with autism to attend. What do you think?

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