New por­tal to sim­plify DSA ap­pli­ca­tion

The New Paper - - NEWS - ADE­LINE TAN

To be launched next year, it will help dis­ad­van­taged pupils

From next year, pupils ap­ply­ing to sec­ondary schools via the Di­rect School Ad­mis­sion (DSA) scheme can do so through a cen­tralised on­line por­tal.

This means they need to fill in only one ap­pli­ca­tion form. The ap­pli­ca­tion will also be made free of charge.

In ad­di­tion, pupils will be lim­ited to three choices, and only two of these choices can be to the same school.

The changes to the DSA-Sec­ondary ex­er­cise was an­nounced by Sec­ond Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion In­dra­nee Ra­jah, who was speak­ing at the Arts Ed­u­ca­tion Con­fer­ence at Raf­fles City Con­ven­tion Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

The changes are the lat­est in MOE’s ef­forts to al­low stu­dents with dif­fer­ent learn­ing styles to be eval­u­ated more holis­ti­cally, as part of its ef­forts to recog­nise non-aca­demic ap­ti­tude and skills, and sup­port the mul­ti­ple path­ways taken by stu­dents with var­i­ous in­ter­ests.

Speak­ing about the changes to the DSA, Ms In­dra­nee said that while the com­mon por­tal will make it more con­ve­nient and eas­ier for all ap­pli­cants, it will be an added ben­e­fit for dis­ad­van­taged fam­i­lies.

Recog­nis­ing the por­tal will sim­plify the ap­pli­ca­tion process for them, she said: “For par­ents who are not so con­ver­sant in ap­ply­ing for DSA, it is very dif­fi­cult to go to dif­fer­ent schools and make dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions, and you also think about the time that it takes.

“Those who come from dis­ad­van­taged back­grounds may not be as well in­formed on some of the choices and op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able.”

With the por­tal, school data, such as the pupil’s aca­demic re­sults and their school-based achieve­ments, will au­to­mat­i­cally be shared with the school that the pupil ap­plies to.

This elim­i­nates the need for pupils to sub­mit hard copy doc­u­ments, and schools will not have to spend time ver­i­fy­ing these doc­u­ments.

All schools will also be aligned to a com­mon ap­pli­ca­tion time­line, from May 8 to June 4, for next year’s ex­er­cise. Thus, pupils and their par­ents will not have to keep track of mul­ti­ple dead­lines if they ap­ply to more than one school.

To re­move fi­nan­cial bar­ri­ers, all ad­min­is­tra­tive and test fees will be waived. Cur­rently, some schools charge up to $50 an ap­pli­ca­tion.

Pre­vi­ously, there was also no limit on the num­ber of schools pupils could ap­ply to and the tal­ents they could use. But with the changes, they are now given only three choices.

Pupils can use more than one tal­ent to ap­ply to the same school, but they can­not use all three choices on that school.

MOE said it hopes this will en­cour­age par­ents and pupils to make their choices ju­di­ciously and se­lect those that can de­velop the child’s strengths and in­ter­est at a suit­able pace.

Pupils can ap­ply through the por­tal us­ing one of their par­ents’ SingPass lo­gins.



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