Parents, take note of these 5 changes to Singapore’s education system, Lifestyle News

On March 7, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced major changes to Singapore’s school system during the Appropriations Committee debate.

According to him, this is part of an effort to support learners at every stage of their education and to partner with educators and the rest of society to drive the Learn for Life movement.

Here are the goals of the Ministry of Education (MOE) for this movement:

  • Expand lifelong pathways and opportunities
  • Build confident and resilient learners
  • Empowering educators to support change
  • Changing mindsets through partnerships
  • Nurturing environmental stewards and sustainability leaders

To achieve its goals of having lifelong learners in the country, the ministry has already started implementing these changes:

5 changes in the Singapore school system

1. No more mid-year exams for primary and secondary schools

This is a bold step that will ease the burden on students, parents and even educators. Instead of burying their noses in their books trying to score well on the exam, students will focus more on nurturing their love for learning.

This change will free up three weeks of program time per year for educators to spread out their lessons and think of creative ways to help their students learn.

Education Minister Chan said this builds on previous efforts to give students space to develop their interests.

“They use continuous assessments to identify what students are good at and where they are struggling. Students also focus more on their learning and less on grades,” he added.

2. Implement comprehensive classification by subject

According to The Straits Times, the MOE has already started rolling out the full subject classification in 2020, with 31 additional secondary schools added to the Ministry of Education’s full subject classification program this year.

The aim is to have full subject distribution in place by 2024 and have students take subjects at a higher or lower level depending on their strengths. By next year, a total of about 90 schools will be on the list.


This means that students will not be segregated or divided into Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) courses. Instead, they will be in mixed form classes. And when they reach secondary 4 in 2027, all students will take a common national exam and graduate with a common high school diploma.

This is part of the ministry’s goal to provide more flexible and accessible pathways for all learners.

3. More Direct Academic Admission to Junior Colleges

From 10% to 20%, the number of Direct School Admission (DSA) places for non-programmed students will increase in government and government-subsidized colleges.

This means that there will be more places in junior colleges available for students entering with talents outside of their grades through the DSA exercise from this year.

4. More normal (academic) students can apply directly to polytechnics

The MOE also aims to expand its polytechnic foundation program. A concrete step in this direction is to allow around 200 additional normal (academic) secondary 4 students to apply directly to a polytechnic for a foundation year instead of completing secondary 5 and O levels.

Again, this ties into their goal of providing more flexible education paths for students in Singapore. According to The Straits Times, the changes will be introduced in stages and fully implemented by the 2028 academic year.

5. New third language program in secondary schools

In its effort to develop future-ready skills for its students, the ministry will pilot a third-language program that will be delivered in modules and guarantee certification thereafter. This is how more secondary school learners can learn new languages ​​and discover other cultures.

They also want to promote a deeper appreciation of each student’s native language, which is why they have added a fourth host school for an optional Malay language program. Students from other schools can also participate in the program.

In addition, the ministry also wants every school to have at least one overseas partnership with one overseas school, to organize virtual or in-person student exchanges. It’s about cultivating diversity and appreciation for other cultures.

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This article was first published in asian parent.