Singapore Secondary School Cut-off Points 2021 

 

 

In a blink of an eye, soon it will be time for this year’s Primary Six students to go for their PSLE exams in September to October 2021. Click here to download the latest PSLE schedule 2021 from MOE.  In view of the recent changes to the PSLE scoring system to AL 1 to AL8, it is critical that students and parents examine closely which secondary schools they would like to go.

Many questions come to mind, “How to choose a secondary school that suits my children? What are the cut off points? What are the academic programmes to consider? Does the school offer DSA admission? What are the niche programmes offered by the school? Any affiliations to Junior Colleges?” The list of questions that parents ponder on goes on and on endlessly. 

Our PSLE series of articles will give you key insights such as providing a list of the latest secondary school cut-off points so that you can guide your child to make his/her plans. 

PSLE Scoring System 

Four important things you MUST know when it comes to choosing a suitable secondary school

1) Watch out for Affiliation Bonus  

Schools that are affiliated with one another offer a lower cut-off point to students from affiliated Primary Schools. These schools with exception of Nanyang High and Hwa Chong Institution, are typically missionary schools like SJI Junior, CHIJ Kellock Convent, CHIJ Katong, MGS, and ACS et cetera. 

2) Choosing a school with the ‘right’ school culture. What is a SAP school? 

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) known in Chinese as 新加玻特选中学 / 特选学校, caters to students who excel in both their Mother Tongue and the English language. At the moment, the SAP schools only cater to the Mandarin mother tongue language.

SAP schools tend to place a higher priority on Chinese bi-cultural education and most offer special programmes like Bicultural Studies and tend to attract more students from China. Historically, the SAP schools normally attract the Top 10% – 20% of each PSLE cohort.

This is especially relevant for students who took Higher Chinese at PSLE,

According to MOE, Students who obtained Distinction/Merit/Pass in HCL and a PSLE Score of 14 or better (i.e. PSLE Score ≤ 14) at PSLE will be eligible for posting advantage to SAP schools. However, under the new scoring system, students with better PSLE scores will be posted first to SAP schools, event if they DID NOT take HCL. In the scenario where students have the same PSLE score, those with better HCL grades will be posted to SAP schools first. 

 

There are a total of 26 SAP schools (both primary and secondary) in Singapore. Secondary SAP schools include highly established school Nan Chiau High, Chung Cheng (Main), Maris Stella High School, Anglican High School, CHIJ Saint Nicholas’ Girls, Nan Hua High School.   

 

3) Consider the IB Programme 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme is another option for your child to consider. Embarking on the programme will eventually lead students to IBDP which is the equivalent of GCE A’levels. Most of the international schools in Singapore usually adopt the iGCSE and IB education programme. Students who choose the IB Programme will have the opportunity to enjoy a more holistic programme offering. Local schools like The Singapore Sports School, SOTA, MGS, SJI, ACS offers students IB programme. The Learning Space is a pioneer in IB and iGCSE tuition, our team of IB tutors are fully equipped and highly experienced in helping students achieve their ideal scores for the IB programme. It is important tot note that the IB curriculum places emphasis on the research processes of the students, as well as on their inquiry and problem-solving skills. Students will also have to work on programmes like the theory of knowledge essay and the individual extended essay, which are completed by students over a specified period of time under teacher supervision. 

You can find out more about IB tuition and contact our IB tutors here

4) What is an IP Programme? 

Integrated Programme (IP) is a programme where the students do not take GCE O levels instead they will embark on a six-years education programme from secondary school to junior college, culminating with the GCE A-level exams. Therefore the programme is also known as the “choo-train”, where students who get into this programme will be automatically secured a spot in the respective JCs, without having to go through another examination. 

The list of IP schools in Singapore are Dunman High, River Valley High, MGS, Nanyang, Hwa Chong Institution, Raffles Girls School, Raffles Institution, Catholic High, Cedar Girls, National Junior College, Temasek Junior College and more.

INSIDERS’ TIPS: Advice for Parents 

Former HOD of Language Arts from a top IP school, Ms Melanie Chan shares that IP programme (at Year One and Two) emphasises more on the holistic development of students who exhibited higher academic competence. Instead of “chasing the curriculum” students are given the opportunity to explore in depth and alternative assessments. For instance, IP students in Raffles Girls School have the opportunity to learn how to write poems and biography. They learn how to create animations and get fully hands-on Applied Science concepts. IP schools also tend to attract former GEP gifted students because of their academic rigour. However, it is important for parents to note that IP schools can sometimes be regarded as an epitome of the pressure cooker system because the curriculum for IP school can get progressively demanding at the Upper Secondary Level as teachers start to prepare students for A’levels. Students who are self-directed learners will definitely thrive in an IP school environment. Like the IB students, IP students are also expected to take English Literature as part of their Language Arts programmes. Students who need tuition and guidance for IP Language Arts can contact our team of MOE tutors. 

Cut-off points for Secondary School in 2021 

 See below for the affiliated points for the school. 

School   IP/IB SAP school Express Normal Academic Normal Technical  
Hwa Chong Institution Boys IP 4-7  
Raffles Girls’ School Girls IP   4-6  
Methodist Girls’ School Girls IP   4-6  
Nanyang Girls’ School Girls IP 4-8 /4-7  
Raffles Institution Boys IP   4-6  
Dunman High School Co-ed IP 4-8  
National Junior College Co-ed IP   5-7  
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School Girls IP 4-7  
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Boys IP   4-7  
Catholic High School Boys IP 5-8  
Methodist Girls’ School Girls   6-8 /7-17  
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Girls IP   4-8  
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School Girls 5-8/5-14  
River Valley High School Co-ed IP 4-9  
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Girls IP   4-8  
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Girls   5-9 /8-17  
Victoria School Boys IP   5-8  
Catholic High School Boys 6-9/6-12  
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Boys   6-9/7-13  
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Girls   4-9  
Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School Girls   8-11 /4-20 21-23 /21-25 25-28 /26-28  
St Joseph’s Institution Boys IP   4-8  
Temasek Junior College Co-ed IP   4-9  
Anderson Secondary School Co-ed   4-10 21-24 25-28  
CHIJ Toa Payoh Girls   6-10/7-20 21-24/21-25 25-30/27  
Victoria School Boys   6-9  
Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) Boys   6-11/7-22 21-21/21-24 25-26/25-28  
Bukit Panjang Government High School Co-ed   6-11 21-22 25-26  
Nan Hua High School Co-ed 6-11  
St Joseph’s Institution Boys   5-10 /8-12  
Nan Chiau High School Co-ed 4-11  
Chung Cheng High School (Main) Co-ed 6-11  
Crescent Girls’ School Girls   6-11  
Fairfield Methodist School Co-ed   8-11 /8-20 21/21-24 25-27 /25-28  
St Andrew’s Secondary School Boys   7-10 /7-22 21-23 /21-25 25-26 /25-29  
St Margaret’s Secondary Girls   9-11 /9-20 21-22 /22-25 25-27 /25-28  
Swiss Cottage Secondary School Co-ed   4-11 21-22 25-26  
Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) Co-ed   6-11 21-23 25-27  
Anglican High School Co-ed 5-12  
Commonwealth Secondary School Co-ed   8-12 21-23 25-28  
Yishun Town Secondary School Co-ed   6-13 21-23 25-27  
CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent Girls   11-13/8-20 22-24/21-25 25-29/25-28  
Ngee Ann Secondary School Co-ed   5-12 /12-16 21-22 /21-25 25-26 /26-28  
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent Girls   9-13/8-29 21-23/21-25 25-27/25-29  
Maris Stella High School Boys 7-12 /8-16  
Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School Co-ed   8-13 /11-20 21-24 /21-25  
Zhonghua Secondary School Co-ed   9-13 21-23 25-27  
Fuhua Secondary School Co-ed   6-13 21-23 25-28  
Presbyterian High School Co-ed   8-13 21-23 25-27  
Tanjong Katong Girls’ School Girls   5-13  
Xinmin Secondary School Co-ed   8-14 21-23 25-27  
Clementi Town Secondary School Co-ed   8-14 21-24 25-28  
Riverside Secondary School Co-ed   6-14 21-23 25-27  
Temasek Secondary School Co-ed   7-13 21-22 25-27  
Holy Innocents’ High School Co-ed   10-15 /11-22 21-23/21-25 25-26 /25-28  
Kranji Secondary School Co-ed   10-14 21-23 25-27  
Tanjong Katong Secondary School Co-ed   9-14  
Dunman Secondary School Co-ed   9-14 21-23 25-27  
Edgefield Secondary School Co-ed   7-14 21-22 25-27  
St Patrick’s School Boys   10-14 /12-20 21-22 /21-24 25-27 /26-28  
Ang Mo Kio Secondary School Co-ed   11-16 21-24 25-28  
Bukit Batok Secondary School Co-ed   11-15 21-23 25-28  
Geylang Methodist School Co-ed    11-15/13-21 21-23 /21-25 25-26 /25-29  
Jurong Secondary School Co-ed   8-16 21-23 25-28  
CHIJ Katong Convent Girls   11-15/11-20 21-24/21-25 25-30/26-28  
Evergreen Secondary School Co-ed   9-15 21-23 25-27  
St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School Girls   11-15 /10-22 21-24 / 21-25 25-27 /25-28  
Bowen Secondary School Co-ed   10-16 21-24 25-27  
Gan Eng Seng School Co-ed   7-15 21-23 25-26  
Hua Yi Secondary School Co-ed   10-16 21-23 25-29  
St Gabriel’s Secondary School Boys   10-17 /13-22 21-23 /22-25 25-28 /26-27  
St Hilda’s Secondary School Co-ed   12-15 /13-22 21-23 /21-25 25-28 /26-28  
Pei Hwa Secondary School Co-ed   11-16 21-24 25-26  
West Spring Secondary School Co-ed   10-17 21-23 25-26  
Hai Sing Catholic School Co-ed   10-16 21-24 25-28  
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Co-ed   10-17 21-24 25-28  
Mayflower Secondary School Co-ed   12-17 21-24 25-28  
Deyi Secondary School Co-ed   13-17 21-25 25-28  
Queensway Secondary School Co-ed   11-17 21-24 25-27  
Pasir Ris Secondary School Co-ed   11-18 21-24 25-28  
Unity Secondary School Co-ed   13-18 21-24 25-28  
Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School Co-ed   9-17 21-25 25-28  
Woodlands Ring Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-24 25-28  
Bedok View Secondary School Co-ed   13-18 21-24  
Chua Chu Kang Secondary School Co-ed   216 171 137  
Beatty Secondary School Co-ed   12-18 21-25 25-27  
Yuan Ching Secondary School Co-ed   8-19 21-25 25-28  
Compassvale Secondary School Co-ed   11-18 21-24 25-27  
Kent Ridge Secondary School Co-ed   10-19 21-24 25-30  
North Vista Secondary School Co-ed   12-18 21-24 25-27  
Orchid Park Secondary School Co-ed   12-19 21-24 25-28  
Bukit View Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-25 26-30  
Peirce Secondary School Co-ed   12-19 22-25 26-29  
Zhenghua Secondary School Co-ed   12-20 21-24 25-27  
Bedok South Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-25 25-28  
Greendale Secondary School Co-ed   8-18 21-23 25-27  
Hillgrove Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-24 25-28  
Meridian Secondary School Co-ed   15-19 21-24 25-27  
Woodgrove Secondary School Co-ed   13-20 21-23 25-27  
Jurong West Secondary School Co-ed   10-18 21-24 25-28  
Montfort Secondary School Boys   15-20 /13-21 21-25 /23-25 25-28 /26-28  
Tampines Secondary School Co-ed   13-19 21-25 25-28  
Christ Church Secondary School Co-ed   207 166 109  
Yishun Secondary School Co-ed   207 164 109  
Seng Kang Secondary School Co-ed   13-19 21-24 25-27  
Admiralty Secondary School Co-ed   15-20 21-24 25-28  
Naval Base Secondary School Co-ed   11-20 21-24 25-28  
Hougang Secondary School Co-ed   15-20 21-25 26-27  
Punggol Secondary School Co-ed   15-20 21-24 25-27  
Regent Secondary School Co-ed   15-21 21-25  
Jurongville Secondary School Co-ed   16-20 21-25 25-30  
Westwood Secondary School Co-ed   11-22 21-25 25-28  
Greenridge Secondary School Co-ed   195 156 126  
Canberra Secondary School Co-ed   11-22 21-24 25-29  
New Town Secondary School Co-ed   13-20 21-25 21-25  
Juying Secondary School Co-ed   12-21 21-25 25-28  
Pei Cai Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 22-25 26-29  
Queenstown Secondary School Co-ed   16-22 21-25 25-28  
Assumption English School Co-ed   10-22 22-25 25-29  
Bartley Secondary School Co-ed   13-22 21-25 25-28  
Bedok Green Secondary School Co-ed   13-20 21-25 25-28  
Bendemeer Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 25-29  
Boon Lay Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 101  
Broadrick Secondary School Co-ed   7-22 21-25 25-27  
Bukit Merah Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-28  
Changkat Changi Secondary School Co-ed   13-22 21-25  
Damai Secondary School Co-ed   15-22 21-25 25-28  
Dunearn Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-30  
East Spring Secondary School Co-ed   12-22 22-25 25-28  
Fajar Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 25-30  
Fuchun Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 100  
Guangyang Secondary School Co-ed   16-21 21-25 26-29  
Junyuan Secondary School Co-ed   17-22 21-25 25-28  
Loyang View Secondary School Co-ed   15-21/13-22 22-25/23-25 26-28/26-28  
Manjusri Secondary School Co-ed   15-21 /13-22 22-25 /23-25 26-28 /26-28  
Marsiling Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-30  
Northbrooks Secondary School Co-ed   12-22 21-25 25-28  
Northland Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 22-25 26-28  
Outram Secondary School Co-ed   4-22 22-25 26-30  
Ping Yi Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 108  
Sembawang Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-28  
Serangoon Garden Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 25-28  
Serangoon Secondary School Co-ed   16-21 22-25 25-28  
Springfield Secondary School Co-ed   10-22 21-25 25-28  
Tanglin Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 100  
Teck Whye Secondary School Co-ed   6-22 21-25 25-29  
Whitley Secondary School Co-ed   7-22 21-25 26-29  
Woodlands Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-28  
Yio Chu Kang Secondary School Co-ed   16-21 22-25 25-28  
Yuhua Secondary School Co-ed   14-22 21-25 25-30  
Yuying Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 26-28   
Yusof Ishak Secondary School Co-ed          

Now that you can refer to this list of cut-off points, it’s time to decide which school you’d be applying for! Why not give yourself a headstart for your secondary school life with

  


Want more tips for PSLE or Oral? Watch our youtube video here

what do voters want

 

If you stayed up watching CNA till 4am this morning, you would have known that the PAP was narrowly defeated in Sengkang GRC yesterday. Only one opposition party won seats in the parliament. PSP led by 80 year-old Dr Tan Cheng Bock Singapore Progress Party was (narrowly) defeated in West Coast GRC while the Worker’s Party won Sengkang GRC, Aljunied GRC and Hougang’s SMC.

Source: Straits Times July 10 Singapore Election Results

The worker’s party team comprising of lawyer He Ting Ru, 37, economics professor Jamus Lim, 44, social enterprise founder Raeesah Khan, 26, and equity research analyst Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33 knocked out The People’s Action Party team for Sengkang consisting of Labour chief Ng Chee Meng, 51, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min, 50, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin, 41, and lawyer Raymond Lye, 54.

In this 2020 election, one of the main observation is the rise of younger voices and younger candidates. Is the fall of Sengkang GRC a reflection that younger voters in Sengkang and perhaps Singapore on a whole, are reflecting their desire for post material value beyond that of bread and butter? What role has Social Media played in this year’s 2020 election?

Stay tune to our page as our class of A’level GP students share their essays on leadership, examine the impact of Social Media on governance and politics. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get sample essays, test papers and notes.

class size in Singapore

Former Secondary Math Teacher with over ten years of experience Mrs Elizabeth Ong shares her views:

Talk to any teachers or parents and you will surely hear mixed responses on what exactly should be the ideal class size in school. Being a former teacher, I am definitely for the (piped) dream of having a smaller class size, simply because it would allow me to get to know my students better and dedicate more resources towards them.

My sentiments are shared by others. According to a study by Princeton University professors, one of the key advantages of having smaller class sizes is that teachers are able to get to know their students better, and can build stronger relationships. The Princeton study also noted that students who were in schools with smaller class sizes scored higher on achievement tests, even when they were no longer in a smaller-class-size model school.

Currently, the average class size in Singapore for mainstream schools (primary and secondary) can go up to 40 students per class. Each class usually have a Lead Form Teacher and one or two Co-Form Teachers (usually for Normal Technical or Academic Classes which will cease to exist by 2024.) In the recent years, MOE has gradually been trying to increase the Teacher to Student ratio by having some classes to be conducted by two Teachers, one leading and the other facilitating. MOE has also hired more Allied Educators that can support Teachers during lessons administratively or reaching out to “weaker” students that need more guidance.

It is no secret that teachers find it more challenging to work with students in classes larger than 25 or 30 students. Large classrooms make discussion and group work more difficult. A study conducted by three professors at the University of London found that in larger classrooms, students were definitely less engaged. What was most surprising to the professors was that students who disengaged were the students struggling most in school. Also, the teacher had more negative behaviors to address with students who were having difficulty in school.

Will there ever be a day where our class size in government schools will shrink to just 20 per class? Perhaps.

In the upcoming GE 2020 election in Singapore, the worker’s party is proposing that reform as part of their manifesto.

Here are some of the proposals WP laid out in its manifesto:

SMALLER CLASSES

  • Prune average class sizes to 20 — from the present 29 to 34 in primary and secondary schools
  • In nations that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose membership comprises mostly rich countries, the average class size is between 21 and 24
  • The smaller classes should be instituted progressively, with academically weaker students benefiting first. Priority should be given to foundational subjects in primary schools and Normal stream subjects in secondary schools

Although there are numerous advantages when it comes to having a small class size, yet there are similar benefits that we should recognize when it comes to having a larger class can offer. Other than easing the taxpayer’s pockets due to economics of scale, a larger class size can actually promote diversity and having more students in a class often translate to higher energy and fun. Classes will go by quicker and are less boring, students may also indirectly become more independent because teachers would not be able to pay too much attention to them.

A smaller class size may be a pie in the sky for now. Most parents would definitely wish that it can be realised soon. In the meantime, finding tutors can definitely help support your children’s academic journey. For math tuition by former MOE teachers , please contact here.

online tuition becomes a norm

It is 8pm and fourteen-year-old Li Wen from Pudong, Shanghai is sitting in his study room, looking attentively at his screen with his headset microphone in place and furiously typing away on his laptop. His parents are in the living room, watching television but with the volume turned down so that they won’t disturb him. Li Wen is having his English tuition with a Singaporean tutor online as he wants to familiarise himself with the local AEIS examinations syllabus in Singapore. He had originally wanted to come to Singapore this year but postponed the trip because of the Covid-19 pandemic. To get a head start, he signed up for online tuition so that he can ready himself before his AEIS Exams.

“Singapore Math is easy. It is English that I need help. Writing is not that easy. My vocabulary not very good.” Li Wen says in halting English with a heavy Shanghainese accent.

Online tuition is relatively common in China. Chinese students are engaging internationally based tutors to help them with their schoolwork, mostly languages or to prepare for exams like SAT.

In Singapore, online tuition is still at a nascent stage. On 27 March, the Government announced that centre-based tuition will be suspended as part of many measures to curb the Covid-19 outbreak. This has resulted in many tutors and tuition providers going online, conducting e-lessons for their students using Zoom, Google classrooms, Skypes.

Although most parents are new to the concept of online tuition, many are ready to embrace the idea due to the uncertainty of the future. Safety and protection is on the top of parent’s mind and given the fact that there is currently no vaccine ready for Covid-19 virus. The thought of sending their children to mingle with other kids in a mall environment or inviting a stranger to your house is the main reason why some parents are starting to embrace online tuition.

What are the key benefits of online tuition?

Ms Kristie Lim, founder and principal of Mind Stretcher Education, shares the merits of online tuition. “Some of the feedback we have received is that quieter students are now more vocal and ask more questions, and the students are actually less distracted because they’re not next to their friends physically,” said Ms Lim.

Indeed, recent surveys have found that online tuition can indeed be very effective for older students (Secondary to Junior Colleges). Other than being less distracted by their peers, students who have one-on-one online tuition share the fact that the tutors can actually see the screen of their students while coaching, reduces the likelihood of students being distracted by other elements.

Although they can work from their own home, many tutors and teachers expressed that online classes actually means more work and planning much ahead as many of the teaching materials have to be prepared ahead of time and digitalised, tutors may even have to use online quizzes and other interactive apps to make learning more interactive.

Online tuition is gaining popularity with students, particularly those who are taking their national examinations this year. Marcus Koh from NCHS, who is taking his O’levels this year, shares that “I choose to start online tuition because I really cannot afford to wait anymore. I don’t know when this pandemic will end. I cannot take the risk of having being infected so I don’t really want to go for group classes or have a tutor visit. It is my O’levels this year and I am not confident about certain subjects, especially English. I cannot afford to get any grade below B3. I really need the help now.”

Wong Meiling, a second year Junior College student who is taking her A Levels this year concurs, “ Online tuition is a breeze. I am able to really focus and the fact that I am able to have one-to-one consultation with my tutors online is extremely useful to me. I like the fact that I get to share screens with my tutor and because everything is digital, I can review my mistakes, go through the recorded lessons for revisions. Another thing that I find much better than physical lessons is the fact that now all my notes are made online. Revision is now so much more convenient. All my chemistry notes are in my google docs. I can read it anywhere and anytime.” 

On the flip side, not everyone can and should embrace online tuition. Younger children will not be able to sit in front of a screen for two hours at one shot, and it will not be recommended for them to have too much screen time, considering they are already having HBL learning from school.

Will online tuition become a norm in the future? Given the fact that there is no vaccine and PM Lee has highlighted concerns of ‘hidden reservoir’ of Covid-19 cases, parents are going to err on the side of caution. Globally, there are close to eight million Coronavirus cases and half a million people have died from this pandemic. Many have asked How long before a coronavirus vaccine is ready? Will we have a vaccine by January 2021? Vaccines typically take years — sometimes even decades — to develop, approve, manufacture and distribute globally. The novel coronavirus appears to be two to three times more contagious than the flu. Not many parents are willing to take the risk of having their children be exposed to so much social-mingling but at the same time, they remain worried about their children’s academics progress. Some parents have lamented about the inadequacies of HBL, the lack of “live lessons” and consultations with Teachers, the cancellation of mid-year examinations … all these factors are pushing them to sign up for online tuition.

What is online tuition and should my children try it?

At The Learning Space, what truly sets us apart is our strong team of tutors. We’re extremely selective — we have a strong team of current and former MOE Teachers who are highly experience in their disciplines. Some of them are former teachers from top secondary and junior colleges like RGS, Nanyang Girls, Victoria School and more. We also have professional full time tutors who come from top-tier colleges & universities.

We believe that majority of our tutors are the best in their field and provide mentorship that other tutors don’t offer. You can view the qualifications & experience of available Teachers and tutors before you engage our tutors. So contact us today and let us help you or your children achieve their goals.

covid-19 virus in schools
Covid-19 virus confirmed case at Hwa Chong institution

Community cases in Singapore are double digit once again after reports of five people from five different schools have been found to have contracted the coronavirus. Three of the schools are located in the East, one in the west and another in the south. All five infected were screened when entering their schools but did not have a fever or any visible symptoms.

There are a total of 14 community infections today, up from 7 community cases the day before. Since the beginning of June, Singapore’s community covid-19 cases have toggle between double-digits high of 15 to single-digit low of four on June 2.

Schools re-opened on 2 June this tuesday after a two months long circuit breaker. Barely a week later, four students and one non teaching staff from Hwa Chong Institution, CHIJ Katong Convent, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent, Geylang Methodist Secondary School and Anglican High have been tested positive for Covid-19 virus. In addition to these cases, the Ministry of Health later confirmed today that is a sixth case, a 16-year-old Chinese national, from Ascensia International School.

covid-19 virus in schools

CHIJ Katong Convent

covid-19 virus in schools

CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent

Geylang Methodist Secondary

Anglican High School

According to Straits Times, three of the five cases had onset of symptoms on June 3, while another two started showing symptoms n June 2 and May 31. It is estimated that 29 staff and 100 students were in contact with the confirmed cases in school. All have since been issued a 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) by MOE or Home Quarantine Order (HQO)

Last month, concerned parents left messages on Facebook urging the Minister to reconsider making school mandatory. Singaporean parent Angie Chan has even started a petition to test all school staff as she fears that there will be potential transmission risks in schools. So far, 1917 people have signed and she is hoping to get 2,500 supporters.

home based learning

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck, my household has become overwhelmingly crowded with my befuddled family members tearing their hair out, having been displaced from our school, work and our normal routines.

As part of the safe-distancing measure, MOE has made home-based learning mandatory from April 8 to May 4. Even at the end of the Circuit Breaker, students of non-graduating cohort will still alternate between HBL and school.

The sudden announcement by MOE on the implementation of Remote Learning, also known as Home-based Learning, HBL has turned our homes into virtual learning environments almost overnight. On one hand, the limitless reach of home-based learning allows students to have a more flexible schedule for their learning, but the variability of the learning environment has laid bare many issues such as the lack of interaction between students and teachers as well as the distraction students face at home, hence it does seem that classroom learning is more beneficial than home-based learning.

What are the benefits of classroom learning?

A recent study by Harvard University reaffirms the benefits of classroom learning, mainly because it produces better educational outcomes as students learn more in classrooms that employ active-learning strategies. Home based learning, compared to classroom learning primarily lacks the physical interaction and spontaneity.

Source: MOE

Communication plays a vital role in education. It allows the sharing of information, ideas and thoughts which contribute to the students learning. It also allows teachers to clarify information immediately, build positive relationships with students and make lessons more fun and engaging as compared to the perfectly lined up facts on computer screens. Not all schools have ‘live’ lessons, some schools direct students to courses or assignments uploaded at the Student Learning Space, otherwise known as SSL. For this form of home-based learning, students who need any clarification on certain subjects would have to wait for teachers to reply via emails or text which not only takes time, students may not understand when there is a lack of verbal explanation. In such scenarios, students who have access to online tuition will clearly stand advantage over their peers. Many tutors have given feedback that they been roped in by parents to facilitate their children’s learning because of the absence of ‘live’ lessons.

Mrs Helena Wong, mother of two children age 13 and 16, shares that only her elder daughter has ‘live’ lessons during this period of HBL. Her younger daughter who just entered Sec One, does not have ‘live’ lessons for all her subjects, instead her teachers gives her online assignments and communicates with her via email. Mrs Wong recognises the resource challenges that the schools may face in this unexpected times, however, she is worried that this lack of “FaceTime” will be detrimental for her youngest child (whom she describes as incredibly social and easily distracted). She points out that she has decided to engage tutors online so as to help her daughter stay on track with learning.

“With online private tuition, you get 100% of the tutor’s time. My daughter’s tutor has stepped up and guides her through the chapters, helping her with the weighted assignments whenever she needs the assistance.”

Student having online tuition

Classroom teaching allows teachers to sense if any students do not understand the subjects through “body cues” such as body language or expression. This is unable to be achieved when you have a classroom of thirty to forty altogether behind screens, teachers would not be able to observe the student’s body language individually as lessons are carried out through video recording. Even when there is communication through online meetings such as Google Meet, some students may feel shy and afraid to speak up in front of their classmates, hence this may impede the students learning and result in students not being able to truly understand concepts, eventually affecting their grades.

Some students may be kinesthetic learners, who strive on hand-on activities, which is something that home-based learning does not offer. In this digital age, where information can easily be found online, schools are no longer the gatekeeper of information. Education has become a social experience as the vibrancy of classrooms, the active learning is truly the reason why classroom teaching is the best medium for students. Students are intellectual beings that need to be engaged in an authentic learning environment and not just stare at their screen passively, spending the whole day communicating with their screens. No online learning platform can replace the vibrancy of classrooms and simulate it on a computer screen.

Some may argue that home-based learning is more beneficial than classroom learning as it offers flexibility to our learning. With online classes, most students can learn at their own pace. Classroom learning is not able to accommodate everyone’s learning pace due to the need to complete the curriculum with a fixed period of time. This results in the slow learners to face difficulty catching up with other students and may end up losing out to other students. However, with home-based learning, students are able to plan out their own schedule and study at their own convenience. Online learning can sometimes be more flexible as the materials are found online where students have the freedom to access it anytime. Lecture videos online also allow students to replay or fast forward the video as many times as they want according to their own learning pace, which gives students plenty of time to digest the information, practice and do their own research, which may hence improve their grades. For example, in Student Learning Space, students are given the freedom to complete their work posted on that platform anytime they want before the due date. It also allows students as well as teachers to monitor the students progress bar and be able to track their work. 

In this time of Covid-19 crisis (or haze may return again) and as we move towards being a Smart Nation, Home-based learning may become the ‘new normal’. Students, Parents and Teachers must learn to work together and fine tune the process of remote learning. In this VUCA world, online learning and HBL is definitely going to be a part of the future in education and it will complement to classroom learning. Although, on some levels, it cannot replicate the same level of interaction that a classroom setting provides, it can definitely complement a student’s learning, especially in our highly connected and globalised world.

Singapore’s gig economy

Singapore’s gig economy: Can you really make a good living?

In this pandemic, people working in gig economy has come under the spotlight as they have been one of those most greatly affected by this economic downturn.

Yet, in April 2020, Deliveroo announced that its top-earning rider raked in S$7,095 in March which draws us to discuss what exactly is the earning potential of the job as a food rider?

According to TODAY, riders shared that this figure would be near impossible to achieve, especially now that competition has increased as more and more people like taxi Drivers, private hire Drivers and people who suddenly found themselves on no pay leave are all turning to delivery gigs .

In Singapore, those who rely on the gig economy to support their family ranges goes beyond that of food riders, grab drivers, or Amazon delivery Drivers. Tutoring is also part of the gig economy. Some full time tutors have lamented their income has been halved due to the Circuit Breaker, citing that some parents are just not keen on online tuition and would rather wait it out for regulations to cease so that they will resume tuition.

There are a myriad of reasons why people choose or have to work in a so called gig economy, for them, working five to seven days a week for close to eight hours a day isn’t just an added bonus, but an urgent necessity. A livelihood that they badly need.

 

In our next post, we will share more stories on Gig economy, for tutors who wish to share your side of the story, do email us. We love to hear from you.

$33b Fortitude Budget

At approximately 3.30pm today, 26 May 2020, Mr Lim awaits with bated breath as he sits gingerly in front of his screens eagerly anticipating the contents of the $33b Fortitude budget.

Mr Patrick Low, a motor cars dealer and a single parent of five children lamented that people like him has been largely overlooked in this looming crisis. He feels that he had felt the full brunt of the circuit-breaker. Since end March, he has not managed to sell any of his cars. His showroom is currently closed and he has a team of over six full time employees with salaries waiting to be paid.

Living in a private property and self employed, he is not eligible and has not received much financial aid despite having five children and two elderly parents to look after. Many thoughts raced through Mr Low’s mind as he watched Minister’s Heng’s speech. What will he say this time? My business has come to a standstill due to the Covid situation. It has been close to three months that I have no business yet I have to pay rent to the landlords, salaries of my staff, the expenses of my children and family all weighing on me. His children, youngest being 10 and oldest 18, their tuition fees alone amount to almost $4K each month.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat released a fourth Budget today, announcing an SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package that will create close to 100,000 opportunities, which includes the jobs, as well as 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training placements. In addition to this, he announced that eligible tenants will continue to receive further rental waivers and rebates from landlords. Households with at least one Singaporean will receive $100 subsidy on utility bills.

Mr Low shows some relief after hearing today’s Budget. The rent for his car showroom and garage is one of his greatest concerns and today he is grateful to hear that the government is offering more aid. He still dreads to think about the future but shares that at least for the next few months, some weight is lifted off his shoulder. When asked if he will cut down on his children’s tuition fees so as to reduce his financial burden, Mr Low took a deep breath, knitted his brows together and said, “I will do my best not to. Their academic results are so important. Education is one thing that I prioritise the most. My eldest and my third child are taking their A’levels and O’levels respectively, it is their critical year. I will dig deep into my savings for their future.

At The Learning Space, we know this crisis is difficult for everyone. A team of our Teachers and Tutors have banded together to provide quality online tuition at a discounted rate for students in graduating years. To find out more about this, do email us.