Should DSA be scrapped?

Unlike entry to Primary Schools, admission into Secondary Schools is based on meritocracy. PSLE results are used as key admission criteria. Discuss everything related to PSLE and selection of Secondary Schools here.

Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Zhuge » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:49 am

Should DSA be scrapped?
What is the rationale for schools to conduct their General Ability Tests to select 50% of their students, thus bypassing the PSLE results?
Isn't this unfair?

Zhuge
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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Mynameis... » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:33 pm

Zhuge wrote:Should DSA be scrapped?
What is the rationale for schools to conduct their General Ability Tests to select 50% of their students, thus bypassing the PSLE results?
Isn't this unfair?


hi r u a student? sry juz asking XP bcos schs r using this to select students who can obtain better awards for their ccas nxt time. its abit unfair... imagine the top sch having pupils of abt 23++ agreggrate score

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Guest » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:58 pm

Actually DSA has been in existent since my school days except that it became more formalized and allowed more kids to try for it. I used to have a classmate in my sec school who got in as a national tennis player. She sat next to me and received tuition from my older sibling when I was not even taught by my sibling at all. It is really nothing new. If anything new, it would be the T-score.
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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Zhuge » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:08 pm

Mynameis... wrote:
Zhuge wrote:Should DSA be scrapped?
What is the rationale for schools to conduct their General Ability Tests to select 50% of their students, thus bypassing the PSLE results?
Isn't this unfair?


hi r u a student? sry juz asking XP bcos schs r using this to select students who can obtain better awards for their ccas nxt time. its abit unfair... imagine the top sch having pupils of abt 23++ agreggrate score



I am a parent.
I think DSA via CCA/Sports is ok as it allow the school to have a wider scope of students, and this intake is very small.
But for DSA via Academic, which is half of the school's intake. This seem unfair as students with better PSLE results are deprived of places

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby UncleLim » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:18 pm

I think we should scrap PSLE instead.

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Snow Crystal » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:50 pm

Zhuge wrote:I am a parent.
I think DSA via CCA/Sports is ok as it allow the school to have a wider scope of students, and this intake is very small.
But for DSA via Academic, which is half of the school's intake. This seem unfair as students with better PSLE results are deprived of places

DSA via academic for mainstream is limited vacancies. More of DSA via GEP is the biggest group for the top IPs (RI, RGS, HCI, NYGH, ACSI etc). I am getting used to the notion that other than sports/CCA, DSA is mainly for GEPpers. But I guess we (the mainstream parents) have to understand these GEP kids are undergoing a different track and not totally prepared for PSLE. Thus, DSA is the primary route for their admission and actually the carrot for entry into GEP. Many GEP parents commented that if not for easier entry into top IPs via DSA, they won't put their kids throughout the GEP route. Looking at the big picture, the government seems to have intention to give GEPpers a real through train - from P4 to JC. Bulk of them enter via DSA. By right the top IPs can cater to all GEPpers. However of course along the way, due to various reasons such as multiple COs situation etc, some of the not so high scorers in GEP get squeezed out. That's another story.

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Pen88n » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:21 pm

Snow Crystal wrote:
Zhuge wrote:I am a parent.
I think DSA via CCA/Sports is ok as it allow the school to have a wider scope of students, and this intake is very small.
But for DSA via Academic, which is half of the school's intake. This seem unfair as students with better PSLE results are deprived of places

DSA via academic for mainstream is limited vacancies. More of DSA via GEP is the biggest group for the top IPs (RI, RGS, HCI, NYGH, ACSI etc). I am getting used to the notion that other than sports/CCA, DSA is mainly for GEPpers. But I guess we (the mainstream parents) have to understand these GEP kids are undergoing a different track and not totally prepared for PSLE. Thus, DSA is the primary route for their admission and actually the carrot for entry into GEP. Many GEP parents commented that if not for easier entry into top IPs via DSA, they won't put their kids throughout the GEP route. Looking at the big picture, the government seems to have intention to give GEPpers a real through train - from P4 to JC. Bulk of them enter via DSA. By right the top IPs can cater to all GEPpers. However of course along the way, due to various reasons such as multiple COs situation etc, some of the not so high scorers in GEP get squeezed out. That's another story.


Snow Crystal, you are right that DSA is mainly for CCAs / sports / GEP.

There are always 2 sides to a coin:

- To the GEPpers and their parents, they will say that DSA is a necessity as GEP kids are undergoing a different track and not totally prepared for PSLE. To squeeze in PSLE preparation within the last 3 months is not a fair game to GEPpers.

- To the mainstreamers and their parents, they will say that DSA is not fair to mainstreamers. Statistics have shown that most GEPpers obtain quite high score for PSLE. Afterall if they are gifted, why can't they cope with the syllabus? And if they can't cope with the syllabus, should they be considering GEP? In fact, if they take the performace of the GEPpers cohort vs mainstream cohort, is there statistics to show that GEPpers actually perform worst off (or on par or better off) than the top classes of mainstream cohorts?

I am not siding GEPpers or mainstreamers. I am just presenting both sides of view. This topic of DSA fair / unfair is going to exist as long as there are different systems / syllabus and different treatment for different groups of students (even within same school). Everyone is equal, some people are just more equal than others. There is simply no way to achieve pure equality.

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Chenonceau » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:16 pm

Pen88n wrote:
Snow Crystal wrote:
Zhuge wrote:I am a parent.
I think DSA via CCA/Sports is ok as it allow the school to have a wider scope of students, and this intake is very small.
But for DSA via Academic, which is half of the school's intake. This seem unfair as students with better PSLE results are deprived of places

DSA via academic for mainstream is limited vacancies. More of DSA via GEP is the biggest group for the top IPs (RI, RGS, HCI, NYGH, ACSI etc). I am getting used to the notion that other than sports/CCA, DSA is mainly for GEPpers. But I guess we (the mainstream parents) have to understand these GEP kids are undergoing a different track and not totally prepared for PSLE. Thus, DSA is the primary route for their admission and actually the carrot for entry into GEP. Many GEP parents commented that if not for easier entry into top IPs via DSA, they won't put their kids throughout the GEP route. Looking at the big picture, the government seems to have intention to give GEPpers a real through train - from P4 to JC. Bulk of them enter via DSA. By right the top IPs can cater to all GEPpers. However of course along the way, due to various reasons such as multiple COs situation etc, some of the not so high scorers in GEP get squeezed out. That's another story.


Snow Crystal, you are right that DSA is mainly for CCAs / sports / GEP.

There are always 2 sides to a coin:

- To the GEPpers and their parents, they will say that DSA is a necessity as GEP kids are undergoing a different track and not totally prepared for PSLE. To squeeze in PSLE preparation within the last 3 months is not a fair game to GEPpers.

- To the mainstreamers and their parents, they will say that DSA is not fair to mainstreamers. Statistics have shown that most GEPpers obtain quite high score for PSLE. Afterall if they are gifted, why can't they cope with the syllabus? And if they can't cope with the syllabus, should they be considering GEP? In fact, if they take the performace of the GEPpers cohort vs mainstream cohort, is there statistics to show that GEPpers actually perform worst off (or on par or better off) than the top classes of mainstream cohorts?

I am not siding GEPpers or mainstreamers. I am just presenting both sides of view. This topic of DSA fair / unfair is going to exist as long as there are different systems / syllabus and different treatment for different groups of students (even within same school). Everyone is equal, some people are just more equal than others. There is simply no way to achieve pure equality.


I am not sure the MOE cares whether it is fair for parents/kids or not. DSA allows schools to cherrypick CCA talent that'll help schools WIN prizes... and look good. Principals look good. Coaches look good. Teachers-in-charge look good.

The wellbeing of the kids is last on this list of priorities. Education is no more about children. It's about careers.

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Mynameis... » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:30 pm

ya dsa sure have its gd and bad points. but one thing i don lk is tt they give more chances to those who dsa. its not lk those who didnt dsa are bad in our ccas lor. so im planning to dsa into jc or poly next time , or rather go into an arts sch. anyone have experience in audition?

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Re: Should DSA be scrapped?

Postby Dr.K » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:52 pm

DSA-can be broken down into 1.CCA's,2.Express Academic 3.IP programs and 3.
potential performers in anyone listed above that respective school may be interested in.

I heard someone say those selected by sports CCA in one top school are asked to sit for their exams as private candidates.

Express academic schools DSA candidates show promise of good performance and the school feels strongly about the student.

IP program schools are convinced on the student's excellent performance and in the top of their co-horts.1.This includes GEP students.2.Non-GEP students who had missed out being selected earlier for P4.The academic program is vigorous relatively about 2 years ahead of other secondary school students giving more time to explore additional subjects in depth.PSLE scores are subjected to the mean and std deviation which may deprive potential *performers of entry. This is why they want the DSA to continue, not to deprive star performers of gaining entry.

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