‘Learning is not a competition’: Singapore scraps class ranking for primary, secondary students
Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Sept. 28 that it will be removing class rankings for primary and secondary students starting next year.
Aside from abolishing the class and level rankings, MOE will remove the class and level mean, as well as the minimum and maximum marks students may get in their report cards next year, as reported by The Straits Times on Sept. 28. Underlining and/or coloring failing marks will also be removed from the report cards of the students.
Overall total marks, mean subject grades and scoring systems for post-secondary institutions will also be dropped. Pass or fail marks for end-of-year-result will no longer be included in student’s report cards next year as well.
The changes were devised to allow students to focus on their academic progress instead of comparing their grades to their peers, the report stated. For MOE Minister Ong Ye Kung, removing class rankings was made in a bid to make children understand that “learning is not a competition.”
“I know that ‘coming in first or second’, in class or level, has traditionally been a proud recognition of a student’s achievement,” Ong said in the report. “But removing these indicators is for a good reason, so that the child understands from young that learning is not a competition, but a self-discipline they need to master for life.”
“Notwithstanding, the report book should still contain some form of yardstick and information to allow students to judge their relative performance, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses,” he noted.
MOE also announced that examinations for Primary 1 and 2 students will be removed, the report said. Because grades and marks will no longer be available in the report cards, schools will use “qualitative descriptors” for students in the two levels instead to help students track their progress. Meanwhile, the grades of students from Primary 3 to Secondary 5 will be rounded off to a whole number. Kate Matriano/NVG
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