Monday, September 27, 2004

New secondary schools performance report out 

The Ministry of Education’s latest secondary schools report card is out. Excerpt from a Channel NewsAsia report:

4 schools top new secondary school banding
The banding of secondary schools is out, replacing school ranking tables which line up the academic performance of schools. In the top tier are Cedar Girls’, CHIJ St Nicholas, River Valley High and Singapore Chinese Girls’.

But what is missing from the list are six secondary schools offering the Integrated Programme, including Raffles Institution and ACS Independent. Junior Colleges too are not included.

The Education Ministry has also introduced the top School Excellence Award and the next tier — School Distinction Award. River Valley High is one of three schools which are the inaugural winners of the School Excellence Award. The other two are ACS Independent and Raffles Institution.

To get there, schools must have won at least three Sustained Achievement Awards in areas like academic and sports performance, two Best Practice Awards for developing students and teachers, and attained Singapore Quality Class. They were also assessed by a team from the Education Ministry.
No doubt, some people will complain that the new system still emphasises scores and rankings. But I think that is inevitable. Schools still need to be accountable for their performance.

The important thing is that the new system adds non-academic criteria in the performance assessment, thus redressing the shortcoming in the previous system where the incentive was skewed toward achieving academic performance.


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