Revision of PSLE (and why they shouldn't be doing it)

MOE's reviewing the weightage of Chinese in PSLE. There might be a reduction of the subject's contribution to the PSLE T-score from 25% to lower. (The extent of reduction's not made known yet).

What does this policy, if implemented, mean?

Students well-versed in the niceties of Maths, Science and English would get better PSLE scores (based purely on the way the score's tabulated), enter top secondary schools and go on to set the world on fire with their brilliant intellect, serving as catalysts for impressive advancements in the society.

At least, that's what both parents and the ministry think. Dream on, dream on.

If the policy benefits everyone to an equal extent, then top secondary schools would still be just as difficult to get into. Besides, entering a premier secondary school does not mean that the kid will go on in life to become a great success (although, arguably, it does tilt the scales in their favour).

If it benefits everyone equally, then the policy should just go ahead. Studying less is good for kids. (Aren't they supposed to be playing, enjoying themselves and creating fond memories that they can treasure instead of being entombed in a room, reciting a litany of Chinese characters?!)

The hitch is that the policy will not benefit everyone to an equal extent.

Kids from English-speaking families would benefit greatly from such a policy. Their parents are already voicing enthusiastic support, urging the Education Ministry to take steps towards realising this policy.

But how about kids from Chinese-speaking families? Contrary to popular beliefs, there are many low-income, Chinese-speaking families. Such a policy would only disadvantage them further, decreasing social mobility.

Where does the Ministry draw the line then? Must they really pander to the demands of parents?

If so, why not lower the weightage in PSLE Science for students weaker in Science and in PSLE Maths for students weaker in Maths and in PSLE English for students weaker in English? That way, everyone would be happy.

Personally, I don't really give two hoots about this policy (since I took my PSLE years ago and, in all likelihood, would never take it again). Besides, I've no kids yet, so there's really no need for me to fret. :]

But, if I've kids and they're weak in Chinese, I'd encourage them to learn more about their culture and in that education, grow to appreciate the beauty of the language. I'd not tell them to give up on Chinese or hope for a nanny state to step in. I'd not support any policies or pressure any government agency into sheltering my kids from such difficulties, essentially preventing their growth.

And if I'm a spokesperson from the Ministry of Education, I'll just ask the parents to raise their kids properly and not expect the government to make everything easy for their darling babies.

Remember, It's all for you own good.