28 February 2019
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has said that streaming in schools has successfully lowered student attrition and has led to better educational outcomes.
However, while studies by the National Institute of Education have shown that Normal (Academic) students, after spending some years in secondary school, had similar or higher levels of confidence in their studies compared to their Express stream peers, there is also feedback from teachers that students in Normal streams may over time also lose confidence and lose the mindset of growth and development.
To combat this trend, the Ministry of Education has put in place measures such as subject-based banding, where students from the Normal streams can take subjects at a higher academic level, and the Polytechnic Foundation Programme, for students to join polytechnics without having to take the O levels.
Mr Ong said that Secondary 4 N(T) students who perform well in the N(T)-level examination can first transfer to the Secondary 4 N(A) stream and take the N(A)-level examination. Thereafter, they can progress to Secondary 5 N(A) and take the O levels.