SINGAPORE: Starting next year, report books in schools will no longer show certain academic indicators such as the level and class positions of the students, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Friday (Sep 27).
This is one of the changes MOE is making to move away from an overemphasis on academic results. It also announced that primary and secondary schools will reduce the number of examinations and assessments from next year.
The changes to the report book – also known as the Holistic Development Profile – aim to help students to focus on their learning progress and discourage excessive peer comparisons, the ministry said in a media release.
Apart from the class and level positions of students, the information that all schools will remove by 2019 include the minimum and maximum marks, mean subject grades and the overall total marks scored.
Marks for subjects failed will no longer be underlined or reflected with a different colour in the report book.
With the removal of weighted assessments such as class tests at Primary 1 and 2 from next year, MOE said it will guide schools to use “qualitative descriptors” to report students’ learning at these levels.
For the other levels where marks are used to report students’ learning, these will be rounded off and presented as whole numbers, without decimal points.
However, non-academic indicators such as physical fitness, conduct and a student’s involvement in co-curricular activities will be retained at all levels. Form teachers’ comments as well as personal qualities with ratings will also be retained.
“With these changes, the reporting of each student’s progress in various domains will be better balanced, reducing excessive focus on marks,” said MOE.
In response to questions from reporters about whether parents and students would be concerned about the removal of the L1R5 aggregate score – which highlights a student’s results in English and five other subjects – in the report book for lower secondary students, Deputy Director-General of Education (Curriculum) Sng Chern Wei said that the score is meant for posting and admission purposes in the O-Level exams.
“It’s more applicable for Secondary 3 and 4 students,” he said. “We don’t want the lower secondary students to be so preoccupied with O-Levels three or four years in advance.”