Express Or Normal Academic

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Let’s be honest.
Even if the school throws in the kitchen sink to help the students in 5NA, what do you think their results will be like? Are they ever going to better the students of schools in the < AL15? Are they even likely to do better than the Express students within the same school?

From a parent’s POV, I can understand why we think school / teachers should do all possible to help. Unfortunately, we are living in a meritocratic society and meritocracy is a double-edged sword. Given the finite number of resources, it’s a difficult but understandable decision for school to allocate resource to areas where there is a better likelihood of a reasonable return. Having a dream is great but there is a point where we have to assess whether that dream is possible and achievable (p/s: I can totally understand why not everyone can be pragmatic and share the same viewpoint).

Secondly, why is there this fascination with Express and O Level? Unless you intend to stop school after 16yo (like my parents’ generation), O Level is never the end game. So, what’s your end game? Uni? Poly? (I don’t think anyone has ever said ITE.) Begin with the end in mind. What’s the most effective way of getting there? If you haven’t been thinking about it, or doesn’t know, you may want to consider a path that is the most flexible and offers you the most option.

IMHO, if you are thinking of local university, picking Express -> O Level based on the current set of options, will offer you the least chance of success. While students who start from Express in Sec 1 are geared for O levels, no offence to the schools listed, how many of their students successfully made it to JC and then to local university, and more importantly, at a uni course they desire?

If JC isn’t the ‘right’ route to university, and poly is the option, will your O Level result gets you the course you want? Can NA offer you an advantage in choosing the course you desire? Are you aware that COP for many popular poly courses based on O Level’s ELR2B2 (5 subjects) are < 15 points?

PFP is currently, IMHO, a big loophole / feature in the system whereby NA students have a big, distinct advantage. I can think of no other point in our education system whereby we asked the most able of our ‘weakest’ student to go first. Meritocracy demands that the strongest be given the pick, but here’s a backdoor that is being kept open. Hence, it absolutely makes sense that teachers should push their NA students to sign up for it.

I will consider Springfield as my number 1 choice for express (from among the choices you have listed) because I think the school is decent and students reasonably behaved. That said, I don’t think there’s a lot of differences between the schools that you have listed.

However, if I’m picking for NA, Temasek would probably be the top of my list.