Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

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 the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby FanFanX » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:33 pm

Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Firstly, the students in SAP schools are 99% Chinese. This is unhealthy as children grew up in a school environment without friends of other races. Singapore is after all, a multi-racial society, and not a Chinese one. If the students of these SAP schools grew up to be the leaders of the country, will policy decisions be affected by their background?

Secondly, SAP schools students are given 2 bonus points when they apply to JCs. This give an unfair advantage to Chinese students over non-Chinese students. Although non-Chinese students can take Higher Malay or Higher Tamil, the number is small.

In the past, non-Chinese PAP MPs have called for the abolition of SAP schools in Parliament. One of these MPs then is K Shanmugam, who is not the Foreign Minister. However, the government stood its ground.

SAP schools today are very different from Chinese schools of yester years. Does it still serve its original purpose? Perhaps it is time for a review.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby hquek » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:08 pm

My limited understanding is that SAP schools were created to ensure that chinese culture is passed on by having schools with chinese as niche subject. My kid is in a sap school (pri) now and I think it's one of the best things I have done. During school time, he gets to learn to play a chinese instrument, learn chinese calligraphy, and wushu is part of their PE lessons. These are stuff that mainstream schools don't have. Also, SAP doesn't mean elitist - I am not sure why pp are attacking. The one my kid is at is quite neighbourhoodly.

These days, I see chinese kids (okay, mine) are more and more 'opposed' to learning about their culture and their language - even my kids initially hated to read chinese books and would speak chinese in a funny accent. Without such schools incorporating such activities, I can only see, in my instance, that my kids will grow stranger and stranger to their own culture.

Singapore is multicultural - I agree. Being in mainstream school doesn't mean one will have close friends with people of other races.

I didn't take higher chinese when I was in school. But seeing what my classmates (who did) have to learn, I happily concede that 2 points. BTW, I believe that 2 points given ONLY if they score extremely well - which is not easy to do.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby Snow Crystal » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:29 pm

FanFanX wrote:Secondly, SAP schools students are given 2 bonus points when they apply to JCs. This give an unfair advantage to Chinese students over non-Chinese students. Although non-Chinese students can take Higher Malay or Higher Tamil, the number is small.

I thought bonus points for SAP was last time. Now still have?
I checked MOE website:

S/No. Type of Bonus Points No. of Bonus Points Available Maximum Bonus Points Allowable
1 For students seeking admission to JC/Poly/ITE courses and with the following CCA grades: Limited to a maximum of 4 Bonus Points only for these 4 sections. Limited to a maximum of 6 Bonus Points only.
Grades of A1 - A2 2 points
Grades of B3 - C6 1 point
2 For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in both their first languages (i.e. English and a Higher Mother Tongue). This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices. 2 points
3 For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in Malay/Chinese (Special Programme)(MSP/CSP) or Bahasa Indonesia (BI) as their third language. This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices. 2 points
4 For students from feeder schools if they choose their affiliated Junior College course(s) as their:
1st choice, or
1st and 2nd choices.
2 points
5 For students who had applied for the CLEP or MLEP and have been selected for the programme. 2 points 2 Bonus Points

I can't seem to find any information about bonus points for SAP. If there is, many kids no need to study HCL or chiong CCA so hard, just go join Chung Cheng, Nan Chiau etc :wink: So please confirm if the 2 bonus points for SAP really applies :scratchhead: Thanks :smile:

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby iRabbit » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:49 pm

I'm actually a bit ignorant about this too. At first I thought that the TS is talking about pri sch SAP but later figured out that he's talking about sec sch SAP (due to the 2 bonus pts and not 3).

I know that at pri level, one doesn't need to study in a SAP sch to take HCL. Increasingly, many non-SAP schs are also offering HCL for their better students while many weaker students in SAP schs are discouraged from taking HCL. It is the (good) grade scored in this HCL exam (not nec. have to come from SAP sch) that gives bonus pts in enrolling in certain sec sch. Does the same apply for sec level as well?

The terms HCL and SAP seemed to be used interchangeably in this thread but I thought that there is a nuance between the two.

For me, I'm happy for ds to attend a SAP sch as I feel that the American culture is too influential globally (Mac, Coca Cola, TV programmes etc) and I hope that ds don't get too westernised. Middle ground between East & West is just right for me. But that's just a personal preference on my part.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby toddles » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:28 pm

Snow Crystal wrote:
FanFanX wrote:Secondly, SAP schools students are given 2 bonus points when they apply to JCs. This give an unfair advantage to Chinese students over non-Chinese students. Although non-Chinese students can take Higher Malay or Higher Tamil, the number is small.

I thought bonus points for SAP was last time. Now still have?
I checked MOE website:

S/No. Type of Bonus Points No. of Bonus Points Available Maximum Bonus Points Allowable
1 For students seeking admission to JC/Poly/ITE courses and with the following CCA grades: Limited to a maximum of 4 Bonus Points only for these 4 sections. Limited to a maximum of 6 Bonus Points only.
Grades of A1 - A2 2 points
Grades of B3 - C6 1 point
2 For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in both their first languages (i.e. English and a Higher Mother Tongue). This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices. 2 points
3 For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in Malay/Chinese (Special Programme)(MSP/CSP) or Bahasa Indonesia (BI) as their third language. This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices. 2 points
4 For students from feeder schools if they choose their affiliated Junior College course(s) as their:
1st choice, or
1st and 2nd choices.
2 points
5 For students who had applied for the CLEP or MLEP and have been selected for the programme. 2 points 2 Bonus Points

I can't seem to find any information about bonus points for SAP. If there is, many kids no need to study HCL or chiong CCA so hard, just go join Chung Cheng, Nan Chiau etc :wink: So please confirm if the 2 bonus points for SAP really applies :scratchhead: Thanks :smile:


what i heard is that for pri school, those with HMT get 2 bonus points. So long as they pass.

In the past, for secondary schools, those with HCL get 2 bonus points for application to JC. Same, just need to pass. Very "worth it" cos JC no need to take MT. :)

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby iRabbit » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:36 pm

I'm quite sure for PSLE, it is 3 bonus pts for HCL dist, 2 for merit and 1 for pass. Actually it's not a lot when one considers the additional syllabi HCL has over normal CL. I won't be surprised that for many kids, if they spread out the amt of time spend on HCL to their other subjects, they will reap higher benefits in terms of T-score.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby SAHM_TAN » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:07 pm

FanFanX wrote:Secondly, SAP schools students are given 2 bonus points when they apply to JCs. This give an unfair advantage to Chinese students over non-Chinese students. Although non-Chinese students can take Higher Malay or Higher Tamil, the number is small.


Hmmmmm, I read from MOE website and think you might have misunderstood. To be given the concession of 2 pts to JC/MI, the student must take HMTL in Sec school. Here's a list of sec schools offering HMTL http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissi ... g-hmtl.pdf.

As you can see there are many sec schools offering HMTL. In addition to take up HMTL as extracted from MOE website " Top 10% of the PSLE cohort; or
Top 11%—30% of the PSLE cohort and meet the language criteria i.e. an A* grade in the MTL or at least a Merit in HMTL."

As you can read even obtaining A* in MTL, and plus being in the top 11%-30% of PSLE cohort will enable the student to take up HMTL in any of the listed sec school and work towards to obtaining the concession of 2 pts provided the students obtain A1-C6 for both Eng and HMTL.

So I don't see how being in a SAP sec school will be an advantage over students studying in non-SAP sec school in terms of applying for JC/MI
Last edited by SAHM_TAN on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby wiimum » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:50 pm

I doubt SAP system would be abolished, given the predominance of China in the world economy, Chinese language is a necessary skill.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby WeiHan » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:31 pm

MOE just granted Nan Chiau High SAP status. Why will people think that SAP will be abolished anytime soon?

Being in a multicultural society doesn't mean that we should abolish everything that is culturally specific. Should we then just abolish all churches, temples, mosques etc....The same reasoning goes to SAP schools.

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Re: Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Postby verykiasu2010 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:57 pm

FanFanX wrote:Should the SAP schools system be abolished?

Firstly, the students in SAP schools are 99% Chinese. This is unhealthy as children grew up in a school environment without friends of other races. Singapore is after all, a multi-racial society, and not a Chinese one. If the students of these SAP schools grew up to be the leaders of the country, will policy decisions be affected by their background?

you mean they all live in the SAP well throughout their schooling years and no other friends ? isn't HDB flats already race-quota allocated ? next you will ask the Madrasah schools to be abolished ?

Secondly, SAP schools students are given 2 bonus points when they apply to JCs. This give an unfair advantage to Chinese students over non-Chinese students. Although non-Chinese students can take Higher Malay or Higher Tamil, the number is small.

you only choose to think HCL....in fact any HMT are given bonus points. Please read up before passing erroneous judgment

In the past, non-Chinese PAP MPs have called for the abolition of SAP schools in Parliament. One of these MPs then is K Shanmugam, who is not the Foreign Minister. However, the government stood its ground.

SAP schools do allow for enrolment for any races. Stop playing racial card here.

SAP schools today are very different from Chinese schools of yester years. Does it still serve its original purpose? Perhaps it is time for a review.
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