'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

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'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby buds » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:20 am

Parents of some children in a well-known primary school have complained about the selection process for Higher Chinese.

St Hilda's Primary pupils are routed into Higher Chinese classes in Primary 2 based on continual assessment test results in Primary 1.

What upset the parents was that pupils who scored as high as 97 marks in Chinese last year were told that they had failed to make the cut for Higher Chinese.

A father, whose child was keen on taking up Higher Chinese, was told that even though the boy had scored 97 marks, he did not fall into the top 25 per cent of the cohort for the subject and did not qualify.

The school's Chinese department head said a number of pupils in Primary 1 scored 97 marks.

The parents, who asked not to be named, said that although they were told of the selection process in Primary 1, they did not expect the bar to be set so high.

The mother of another pupil who missed out said she was disappointed that the school would not take into account a pupil's interest.

"My child is interested in Chinese, that's why I was disappointed that despite her doing well, she was not selected to study Higher Chinese," she said. "(The Education Ministry) urging young people to follow their interests and aspirations just sounds hollow."

The father of the first pupil felt such practices run counter to policymakers urging parents to stop chasing the last mark.

"The ministers had been talking about how we need to move away from differentiating students more finely than necessary," he said.

"Changes are being made to the PSLE so that pupils focus on their own learning and not on competing with their peers. Surely, such practices go against this thinking?"

He said streaming pupils in Primary 1 was "way too early" and it would be better for schools to allow all children to take up Higher Chinese from Primary 1, as is the practice in the 15 Special Assistance Plan (SAP) primary schools.

At all SAP primary schools, children take Higher Chinese from Primary 1. At the end of Primary 4, those who do well are encouraged to continue with Higher Chinese.

Another parent with a Primary 1 child in St Hilda's Primary said he was worried for his daughter, who wants to take Higher Chinese.

"How can 97 marks be not good enough?" he said. "These are the kinds of practices that push parents to send their kids for high-end tuition that costs $1,000 a month."

St Hilda's Primary principal Kew Mee Ying told The Straits Times that the school introduced Higher Chinese at Primary 2 in 2014.

She said it continually reviews pupils to ensure they are learning at a suitable pace and added that pupils have opportunities to offer Higher Chinese beyond Primary 2, if they show they have the ability. Pupils who wish to opt out can also do so.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said most schools offer Higher Chinese from Primary 5. But as some pupils can go beyond the standard Chinese Language curriculum, and since the Higher Chinese curriculum is already available for SAP primary schools, schools could offer it to pupils with stronger ability. A pupil not offered Higher Chinese in lower primary can still take it later.

MOE said it was up to the schools to decide on selection criteria: "There is flexibility...for a child to take up or drop Higher Chinese Language at different levels.

"Such differentiation in curriculum allows schools to more effectively engage students with varying language abilities."

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/e ... ood-enough

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby phtthp » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:52 am

St Hilda primary is a GEP school.
As such, many parents would have prepared & guided their children well, in P1 assessments.

If the school's policy had been set such that Top 25 % of entire P1 cohort at year end, qualify to take Higher Chinese (HCL) in P2, yet having scored 97 fall short of entry for HCL, that means many inside the P1 cohort had scored higher than 97, like scored 100, 99, 98. It is that competitive !

Top 25 % of cohort also meant that the other 2 subjects (Maths, English) are also taken into account, not just looking at Chinese marks one subject alone. All 3 subjects are taken into consideration, at P1 level, in computing the Total overall.

Perhaps P1 parents there, their children batch sitting for Psle 2021 under the new AL system, can hold a meeting to discuss with their Principal : if is possible to raise from Top 25 %, to a higher percentage figure, to do Higher Chinese ?

Under the new AL point system, every subject counts. If weak in Chinese but strong in other subjects like English or Maths, the strong subject can no longer "pull up" the weak subject into Total overall, unlike in the current T-score system. (which can allow stronger subject to pull up the weak subject.) As such, many parents begin to worry over Chinese, thinking that perhaps is better to kickstart Higher Chinese, the earlier the better.
Last edited by phtthp on Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby laughingcat » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:05 am

Actually I think the parents either don't know or ill-informed. To be eligible for Higher Chinese, the child must attain good score for the rest of the subject other than just Chinese Lang alone.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby slmkhoo » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:21 am

This is being discussed in other threads as someone posted the complaint on several threads. I guess the ST picked it up from KSP? Check the "are students stressed" thread.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby phtthp » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:36 am

Another proposal or suggestion, is -
Get the 2009 born cohort parents at St Hilda to hold a meeting, discuss with their schoool Principal, whether can follow RGPS implementation method (solution) :-

That is, by default, start all P1 students afresh on the same equal ground footing, to be fair to everyone, start all P1s on Higher Chinese. This gives every student a chance, to learn Higher Chinese, from the very beginning.

After all, if under new AL point system, where every subject counts, and many parents in St Hilda want their kids to be exposed to Higher Chinese earlier the better, then it is better to start every pupil from P1 by default in HCL.

Then, come to year end P4 -
if any students cannot cope with Higher Chinese, they can then drop out of HCL, fall back to Regular normal Chinese, at P5 start of new academic year.

if implement this method -
it is far better, because all P1 students regardless of whether they scored 97, 96, 95,94, 93, 92, 91 (A*, start from 91 onwards), or scored Band 1 (from 85 upwards), or Band 2 (70 to 84 range), or Band 3 (50 to 69) or Band 4 (below 50) -
every P1 student has been given a fair chance to learn Higher Chinese, all the way until P4. They are given 4 long years time frame, to learn HCL. If really cannot cope by end of P4, then drop HCL.


Both St Hilda & Rgps are common in that : both are GEP schools, & both are also non-SAP schools.
Last edited by phtthp on Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby phtthp » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:52 am

Since this scenario had been reported by Straits times, happening inside St Hilda primary -
parents with K2 children due for P1 registration enrolment this year 2017 July, for next year 2018 P1 intake : who "die die" insist on getting their kids to learn Higher Chinese, in lower primary -

perhaps can consider enrolling your child into a SAP school, instead. Then, u won't complain if your child score 97 so high, yet not given the opportunity to study HCL, in lower primary.

In Tampines, the SAP school is Poi Ching primary.

In other estates, SAP schools located in the east include

Tao Nan
Red Swastika

Kong hwa
Maha bodhi

In SAP schools -
By default, all study Higher Chinese, from primary 1. When reach end of P4, if can't cope, can drop back to Normal Chinese in p5
Last edited by phtthp on Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby janet88 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:01 am

97 marks is just short of 3 marks to 100...if that's not considered good enough, then what is?
this article is perfect for this year's p1 registration....parents, please consider carefully when you decide on the primary school for your child. primary school is a 6 year long journey. with the new AL grading system, every subject is important.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby pirate » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:18 pm

Maybe should enroll kid into one of the convent schools (not St Nicks) and then complain online got 100 marks for CL also cannot do HCL until P5... :siam:

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby phtthp » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:50 pm

besides St Hilda primary, there are also some other Non-SAP schools that implement Higher Chinese at P2. One example is Compassvale primary.

anyone know what's the selection criteria, set by Compassvale for P2 HCL, or by any other Non-SAP school ?

Will be interesting to see, what kind of selection criteria apply in other Non-SAP schools, over this lower primary HCL selection of candidates.

Is it also the same criteria like St Hilda, only allowing Top 25 % cohort to do, or they more generous, to whoever have the potential to study HCL, just open up the opportunity to them, encourage them to go ahead & learn ?

Under AL system, parents are paying more attention to Chinese, as they are anxious that their children have to do well for every single subject, under AL psle scoring system
Last edited by phtthp on Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 'ST : How can 97 marks be not good enough?'

Postby phtthp » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:07 am

laughingcat wrote:Actually I think the parents either don't know or ill-informed. To be eligible for Higher Chinese, the child must attain good score for the rest of the subject other than just Chinese Lang alone.

In St Hilda case, when they mention Top 25 % cohort as the selection criteria, that means the school take into account the Total overall for the 3 subjects (Maths, English, Chinese), not just looking at one subject Chinese alone.

We are not sure whether the P1 papers had been set easy, or been set difficult. If they had been set easy, then there will be many P1 students who had scored 100, 99, 98. Hence by the time reach 97, exceeded the cut off.

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