Should the government revamp the PSLE grading system of using T-scores?

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Question 1 

The PSLE revamp
is part of a larger shift away from academics towards broadening opportunities
for students to discover their interests and talents, and develop life skills,
a sense of curiosity and a love for learning. Experts say that while this is a
necessary change, it will take time for the country to embrace it and move away
from its preoccupation with marks.

Pupils in Primary 1 this year will be the first cohort to
take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and receive a new set of results.

In 2021, the national examination will do away with the
aggregate score – often criticised for being the cause of excessive stress
among pupils and parents. With the change, children will no longer be graded
relative to one another.

In its place will be wider scoring bands such as A, B, C and
D – similar to the scoring system used in the O- and A-level examinations.

But this is only the most obvious change to what has been a
steady overhaul of a pressurecooker system which has had a strong focus on
marks instead of a child’s holistic development.

Already, in the early stages of primary education, exams
have become a thing of the past. Pupils are increasingly being encouraged to
express themselves. Applied learning is in, along with the development of
character and life skills.

At Primary Four or Five, pupils take part in a three-day
cohort camp and learn to prepare simple meals, adapt to the outdoors, and build
resilience and camaraderie.

In the coming years, primary school leavers will have more
choice to go to secondary schools offering niche programmes in robotics,
environmental issues, the arts and music, for instance, where they can develop
their interests beyond the three “R”s – reading, writing and arithmetic.

As Acting Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng
explained in Parliament earlier this month when he announced the changes:
“Let’s help our children make good use of their time to branch out to
explore other interests and passions and to pursue what they want to do in
life.

“Let’s help them make good choices about their
educational and career pathways based on their aptitudes and aspirations.

“Let’s help them to be ready for the future.”

-Adapted from article “Evolving the S’pore education system:
Going beyond grades by AMELIA TENG, CALVIN YANG, The Straits Times, INSIGHT, B2 & B3,

17/04/2016.

There has been much debate in the Singapore Parliament and
public sphere with regard to the revamp in the PSLE grading. The two articles
provided below reflect some of the debate regarding this issue.

Should the government revamp the
PSLE grading system of using T-scores? 

In about 1000 words,
write a persuasive argumentative essay defending your position in order to
argue for your particular stance on this issue. Other than providing supporting
arguments for the position you take on this issue, you MUST anticipate objections and
provide counterarguments to write the paper. Relevant information for you to
gather would be: 

 
Definition of T-score

 
Issues (moral, ethical, social and etc.) surrounding the
PSLE grading system of using T-scores

 
Arguments for upholding the PSLE grading system of using
T-scores

 
Arguments against upholding the PSLE grading system of using
T-scores 

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