Dr Timothy Chan, director of SIM Global Education‘s academic division, said: “A contributing factor to this upward trend is the continuous efforts of our schools in preparing our pupils both academically and psychologically for the exam.”
National University of Singapore economics lecturer Kelvin Seah said that while further improvements may be possible, “any increase would likely be marginal”.
“The percentage of students eligible to enrol in a secondary school is already extremely high,” he said. “Therefore, further increases will be harder to achieve.”
Of this year’s cohort, 66.4 per cent qualified for the Express stream. But this was lower than the record 66.7 per cent achieved by the class of 2013.
This is the fifth year that the Education Ministry is not revealing the top PSLE scorer in a bid to reduce emphasis on academic results. It also did not reveal the highest and lowest scores achieved by pupils in the cohort, a move started in 2013.
Julia, who was a prefect and a member of the school choir, wants to become a teacher to help other pupils in future, just like how her teachers helped her.
“Before the programme, I couldn’t read or write English. I thought that something was wrong with me,” said Julia, who would find time for practice even after school. “But my teachers encouraged me, and they were very patient.”
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times
(Photo: The Straits Times)