First Look and Thoughts: Abolishment of Secondary School Streaming

5 March, 2019

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has announced on 5th March 2019 that streaming in Secondary Schools would be abolished in 2024. Presently, after PSLE, school children are streamed into Normal (Technical), Normal (Academic), and Express based on their PSLE results.

Say goodbye to “Normal” and “Express”

In five years’ time, students who are now Primary 2 will enter Secondary School where these three streams no longer exist. In its place, students will now take subjects categorised as General 1, General 2, and General 3.

General 1 is equivalent to today’s NT syllabus, General 2 to NA syllabus, and General 3 to the Express syllabus.

At the end of four years of education, every Secondary School student will take a nationwide exam, instead of the N and O-Level examinations we currently have.

What does this mean for students?

In the past, a student who scored well for his/her PSLE would be placed in the Express stream. Students who did not do as well would be placed in the Normal Academic or Technical streams according to their aggregate scores.

In the new system, students now take subjects based on their aptitude and ability for each subject. For instance, a student may not score very well for his PSLE owing to English or Science, but he may be particularly strong at Maths. He may then take English and Science at the G1 level, and opt to go for Maths at the G2 or even G3 level.

Similarly, a student may be strong at subjects like Maths and Science, but may not be as proficient in English. She may opt for G3 subjects for her Maths and Science while choosing to take G2 for English so that she may have easier time coping with her learning of the language.

This means that students get to develop their strengths and interests by picking subjects according to their abilities. MOE also hopes to reduce the stigmatisation of the streams, and encourage students to interact with a wider range of their peers instead of just mingling with students from the same stream.

Such a change looks to be positive, as students can focus on their strengths and cope with their weaknesses.

Already, League of Learners places our Learners in small groups according to their abilities. Instead of merely categorising them by streams, Learners are grouped with others of similar strengths and tutored according to their aptitude for each subject. Take a look at our curriculum, as well as testimonials left by satisfied Learners.

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