Readying our education system for the future

Expansion of subject-based banding (SBB) and Direct Schools Admission (DSA) among plans to prepare students to be future-ready

07 Mar 2017

Speaking at the Committee of Supply Debate 2017 on 7 Mar 2017, Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng and Minister of State for Education Dr Janil Puthucheary outlined the Ministry of Education’s plans for schools to prepare our children for the future.

Expanding Subject-Based Banding

By 2018, MOE will implement Subject-Based Banding (SBB) for Secondary 1 students in all secondary schools that offer the Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) courses. Students with uneven strengths across their subjects can leverage on SBB to stretch themselves in their areas of strength.

Expanding Direct Schools Admission opportunities

Starting from 2018, the number of Direct School Admission (DSA) places will be expanded to allow all secondary schools to admit up to 20% of their Secondary 1, non-Integrated Programme intake via DSA. The expansion will allow students to better access schools with suitable programmes via DSA.

From this year, the DSA selection will also be refined to achieve the objectives of the DSA:

- Schools will focus on identifying students with specific talents and move away from recognising strong general academic abilities.

- Schools to discontinue the use of general academic ability tests in DSA selection by 2018

From the 2019 DSA Exercise, students can submit their applications through a centralised online application portal, using a common application form. To help students and parents make informed choices, schools will also put out clear information about the DSA categories and selection criteria on their websites.

Review of Affiliation Priority in Sec 1 Posting

Starting from the 2019 Secondary 1 Posting Exercise, 20% of places for each course in every affiliated secondary school will be reserved for students who do not benefit from affiliation priority. Most affiliated secondary schools have admitted more than 20% of non-affiliates today.

Fostering resilience

Starting from this year, MOE will train a core group of students in each school to establish a caring environment in every class, identify signs of distress in their peers, and offer basic social and emotional support.

Encouraging active and healthy schools

To allow students easy access to healthy food options, all primary and secondary schools, Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute will implement the “Healthy Meals in Schools Programme” by the end of this year.

Lessons on good sleep habits that are currently incorporated into our primary school PE curriculum, will be taught in the secondary school PE curriculum as well so that students can exercise self-management. MOE will also work with parents to instil good sleep habits in children.

To provide students with more opportunities to initiate their own sports and games, schools will also make sports equipment and school facilities available for students to use during their break or after school.