“strong interest and commitment” to pilot the initiative. Flexibility for Sec 1 Students: MOE Spells Out How to Qualify In response to media queries, an MOE spokesperson said the criteria have been set to ensure that students will “benefit from this flexibility, optimise their potential and build on their confidence”. The spokesperson added: “Students who do not meet the criteria at the start of Secondary 1 but show potential at a later stage will also be allowed to do so on a case-by-case basis. For example, the schools can consider allowing such students to take a higher-level subject at the start of Semester 2 or at the start of the next school year.” The criteria would be reviewed based on the outcomes following the pilot phase, added the MOE. Currently, uppersecondary students are allowed to take subjects across streams if they are assessed to be suitable. SINGAPORE — With results of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) expected next week, the Education Ministry (MOE) yesterday laid out the criteria allowing Secondary 1 Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) students posted to 12 schools next year to take subjects at a more advanced level if they performed well in them at the national exam. By NG JING YNG - School principals and teachers interviewed yesterday welcomed the move to stretch students’ potential according to their abilities. It also serves as a signal that the PSLE exam should not be used as the final determinant of a student’s potential at the secondary school level, they added. Challenges over teachers’ workload and logistical arrangements were flagged. There were also concerns that students might neglect their Normal stream subjects as time and attention are devoted to the Express-level subject. 15 November 2013 SINGAPORE — With results of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) expected next week, the Education Ministry (MOE) yesterday laid out the criteria allowing Secondary 1 Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) students posted to 12 schools next year to take subjects at a more advanced level if they performed well in them at the national exam. Students will be able to study English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue at the Express Level as long as they score at least an A in their PSLE, regardless of whether they are in the Normal (Academic) or Normal (Technical) course. Students in the Normal (Technical) course who scored B, C or 1 in a Foundation subject could take the subject one level higher, at the Normal (Academic) level. The move, first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally, is aimed at increasing flexibility within the education system to better cater to the strengths of students in different subjects. The MOE, which named the 12 schools to pilot the initiative yesterday, said it aims to implement this across all secondary schools by 2018. The MOE said the 12 schools, located across the island, were chosen for their diverse student profiles, and had expressed Jurong Secondary Principal Tham Kine Thong said “a possible challenge” will be in terms of timetabling and the need for extra teachers. “For example, we may have to band some classes to allow students (taking) the subject at (a) higher level to come together and form a new teaching group,” he said. Ang Mo Kio Secondary Principal Abdul Mannan said the school can address these logistics-related challenges by readjusting the school programme, but teachers may need time to adapt, as they engage the diverse group of students and learn to vary their teaching methods to suit students’ learning styles. The MOE spokesperson told TODAY that the Academy of Singapore Teachers will organise courses and professional learning circles to support teachers. The ministry will also work closely with the 12 schools to manage their more complex timetabling needs, including manpower deployment and resource requirements. Notwithstanding the challenges, Mr Abdul felt students would benefit from the move. “These students will be highly motivated and engaged as they are given access to subjects they really enjoy at a higher level. I also see this greater flexibility in subject offering a source of motivation for other students to work diligently,” he said.
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