All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

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.

All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby FanFanX » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:41 pm

MY DAUGHTER is now in a secondary school offering O levels, and I am glad I did not choose an Integrated Programme (IP) school for her ('More through-train schools: Streaming by another name?' by Mr Philip Tan; Tuesday).


This is because for a child of 12 or 13 years, a more structured learning directed towards the O-level examinations may be less of a drastic change from the primary school system where all six years of study are directed towards and culminate in the PSLE.


The IP - which is more project-based and less exam-oriented - is great for fostering creativity and independent thinking and learning, but not all children in their early teens are mature enough to benefit fully from this freedom.


Children who enter the IP must do well enough in their A levels to enter the university, otherwise their six years of secondary education leave them with no O-level certificate and an A-level certificate that may not be enough to enter the competitive job market. This is worrying for parents who cannot afford to send their children overseas or to private tertiary institutions in Singapore.


An O-level certificate offers an alternative route to the universities via the polytechnics, with the added advantage that the polytechnic diploma is recognised as a tertiary qualification by employers.


The polytechnics have made great strides in improving their image and acceptance as tertiary institutions, and I am heartened that the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University reserve more places for polytechnic students.


I urge the Ministry of Education to review the effectiveness of the Integrated Programme, and ensure that not all the brand-name schools go the IP route.


Parents and children should have enough choice. If all the brand-name schools become IP schools, this limits their choice to mainstream secondary schools if they want to take the O levels.


There should also be more flexibility in choosing IP and dropping out of it to take up O levels.


Teachers also can do their part by identifying students who would be better off taking O-level exams and advising their parents accordingly.


Lynne Tan (Ms)

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Re: All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby FanFanX » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:44 pm

Fine-tune IP to realise its potential


INSTEAD of curtailing the expansion of the Integrated Programme (IP), schools ought to fine-tune their management of the programme ('The runaway IP Train', Dec 14; and 'Some students fail to thrive on IP Scheme', last Thursday).


First, adjust admission policies to co-opt character traits like motivation and independence through the increased use of interviews, teacher's recommendations, selection camps and past work, as opposed to the blunt instrument of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).


At the foundational levels of education, it is possible for bright children to achieve decent test results without putting in the requisite effort. Once a student reaches secondary school and junior college, however, the rigour of the syllabus demands consistent hard work. Consequently, the PSLE is inadequate for selecting IP students.


Second, the Ministry of Education should provide Primary 6 pupils and their parents with balanced information on the IP's risks and gains.


Third, schools must ensure that the curriculum is adequately rigorous to engage IP students and pre-empt a culture of complacency. Teachers should be trained to use the freedom afforded by the IP judiciously without becoming rudderless in the absence of an examination syllabus.


Finally, schools should employ a variety of external assessments throughout a student's six-year stint in the IP. For instance, this could include the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (China's Chinese Language Proficiency Exams for non-native speakers) and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).


This would provide a safety net for IP students and allow them to benchmark themselves against internationally recognised standards.


The flexible nature of these assessments would insulate students from the strain of preparing for the traditional O-level examinations.


Although the IP may suffer teething problems, it is a progressive idea which should not be abandoned. Instead, the Education Ministry and schools should work to realise its vast potential.


Chua Jun Yan

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Re: All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby starlight1968sg » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:47 pm

I do not know if IP is better than the traditional O level route to U. But I do know, more and more brand-name schools are offering IP which means IP is probably the better way to go forward.

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Re: All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby phankao » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:50 pm

IF only all these IP schools have dual-track programmes, it'd be more flexible.

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Re: All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby ngbrdad » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:09 pm

For most whether it's IP or O level tract, the end is still the same, taking the A level.
Difference is for IP there is some time during year 3 and 4 for the students to do something extra/different using the time saved from doing O level.
All these should not make any difference in the students A level results.

However parents are worried that due to IP there will be lack of places in the top JC by the time their o level route kids enter JC.

MOE and the schools have been trying to clarify that their chances are still the same.

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Re: All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby VALyap » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:06 pm

there is another way to look at it. If all brand-name schools back to taking O' level, then I can assure you that when O' level results released, there will be many many brand-name students scoring at least 8As…. not just in tens, but more likely in hundreds or >1000s getting 8As…..or more! :grphug:

Beside, IP more time to explore subjects or research, :lol: then newspaper will have little opportunity to highlight well performing neighborhood schs! Guess the MOE wld like other non-brand schools to get some credits to be in the newspaper! just acts worth :xedfingers:

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Re: All brand-name schools shouldn't take the IP route

Postby dovetail » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Streaming is inevitable in a meritocratic system.

I do think a differentiated learning style is necessary for the faster learner. The problem is that some are faster learner, some are just escalated by parents pushing. The latter, though with good intention, is the cause of all the problems.

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