Unfortunately the changes will only impact those enrolling in P1 this year. For those who are in the current rat race, the challenges and pressures the children face continues.
Details of the change will only be announced in Mid 2016 . There are already concerns as to what it may fail to address.
- Given the possibility of a larger number of children getting similar results, it might be difficult to distinguish one from another base on grades alone for admission. In highly sought schools, this will definitely raise more questions than answers. This might lead parents to see 'perfection' in grades so that their children would be in a position to choose the desired school of the choice. Instead of a T score of 260, Kiasu parents would now expect the child to score 4 A1s in their test. The more kiasu ones will send their children to SAP school for higher Chinese so that there are 5 instead of 4 subjects to rely on for scoring. This might lead to additional burden for the kids to excel.Instead of just changing the system, parent's mindset need to be address as well.
- Without using T scores, parents are concern that the focus will turn into extra circular activities such as sports participation and leadership roles in uniform groups. If that is the case, it will be merely a case of moving the goalpost from left to right. Instead of attending more enrichment classes, you will see parents hiring personal coaches to horn the child's hidden potential if any. This effectively double the burden on the child if such a scenario materialise.
- The fairer way to assess would be to consider distance to school as how primary school admission is based. This would be used in conjunction with the score the child has. Space should be allocated to the one that stays the closest if more than one student qualifies in the assessment. It is not the best way to assess, but at least it will eliminate the one hour journey for a child to get to school every day.
Personally, I do not see a need to remove the T Score. It was a system that I had grew up with and it had served it's purpose. Unfortunately you cannot compare the situation today to that of decades ago. Somehow along the way, T score had become the defining benchmark for one's success in the future.To put so much stress on a child in his or her formative stage is indeed one that is misplace.
A case in point, my T score was only a meagre 235 . I went to a school that is notorious for producing gangsters, but thankfully I stayed sound during the period. I was also a late bloomer, discovering my personal strength in certain subjects and excel in it . At the end of the day I managed to get into university and put a roof over the family's head. The T score was just a memory and served no permanent damage to my future.
Soon the younger one will join in the rat race, albeit one that is potentially more relax. He may not be getting an award on the day of the education award merit ceremony, but he got away with something more priceless.An experience to have a one on one chat with Emeritus Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong.
So with no T scores in the future, do you think it is a good or bad move?