500 more pupils of­fered sec­ondary school places via MOE’s move

The New Paper - - NEWS -

Five hun­dred more pupils were of­fered places in sec­ondary schools of their choice via Di­rect School Ad­mis­sion (DSA) this year.

The in­crease came af­ter the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion al­lowed sec­ondary schools to ac­cept up to 20 per cent of their non-In­te­grated Pro­gramme Sec­ondary 1 in­take via DSA.

This re­sulted in 3,000 pupils get­ting con­firmed of­fers from schools this year, com­pared to 2,500 last year.

The rise in ca­pac­ity, from 5 per cent for schools with dis­tinc­tive pro­grammes and 10 per cent for au­tonomous schools, has re­sulted in some schools in­tro­duc­ing new tal­ent ar­eas for pupils to en­ter via DSA. The ar­eas can range from sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tion to bad­minton.

About 143 out of 153 schools par­tic­i­pated in the 2018 DSASe­condary Ex­er­cise, of which 129 schools gave con­firmed of­fers.

Jurong Sec­ondary School is known for its bas­ket­ball and vol­ley­ball. This year, it in­tro­duced science com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­search and ser­vice lead­er­ship as part of its DSA tal­ent ar­eas.

Up­take for these ar­eas has been pos­i­tive, with about 20 out of 50 ap­pli­ca­tions ap­ply­ing for these ar­eas in the re­cent ex­er­cise, said prin­ci­pal Ruby Tan.

She said: “When the idea of 20 per cent came out, we were de­cid­ing on ex­pand­ing the ex­ist­ing tal­ent ar­eas. But you can have only so many play­ers in one team, so what is the value of ex­pand­ing the same sport?

“Since science and re­search are ar­eas we have been grow­ing in, why not ex­pand it?”

In ser­vice lead­er­ship, stu­dents are put through group in­ter­views and sce­nar­ios and as­sessed if they have a heart for serv­ing the com­mu­nity and whether they can lead oth­ers in do­ing the same.

For science com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­search, they are as­sessed on their pas­sion for science and their sci­en­tific skills, such as pre­ci­sion and ac­cu­racy dur­ing ex­per­i­ments.

Madam Tan added that the school plans to in­tro­duce an­other tal­ent do­main, en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies, next yearand will con­tinue to in­tro­duce more over the next few years.

More em­pha­sis will also be placed on po­ten­tial dur­ing the se­lec­tion. In Jurong Sec­ondary School, teach­ers are trained to iden­tify pupils with po­ten­tial, such as when se­lect­ing ath­letes, how to gauge their ball sense or flex­i­bil­ity in re­spond­ing to in­struc­tions given on a court.

– ADE­LINE TAN

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