University entry criteria for poly graduates may be reviewed

Education minister Ong Ye Kung said that the scores local universities use to decide admission of polytechnic graduates may be reviewed. He pointed out that O-level results may play a greater role in the admission process, making up  to 20% of the composite University Admission Score needed.

He said that such a practice will raise the stakes of the O-level examinations and signals that the examinations have a long-lasting impact. Any change in entry criteria for polytechnic graduates would be in line with Mr Ong’s plan not to depend excessively on exam scores for admission purposes.

He also shared the importance of having exams even though the government is now moving into lesser reliance on exam scores for admission purposes across all school levels. This is to create a space for children to “learn what matters, and to enjoy the process”. Clear steps have been taken towards this; polytechnics have moved towards aptitude-based admissions while the PSLE T-score system will be replaced with Achievement Levels from 2021.

This process may be challenging and tedious, but I think it is a definite step in the right direction. As a society, we have been so obsessed with grades and numerical scores that we do not know if the child actually enjoys his or her learning journey. In actual fact, the learning process is more important than the grade. Hopefully, the changes to admission systems will bring about a new objective for our education system that will ultimately benefit our young more.

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