PSLE success comes in different ways: Pupils overcome learning difficulties to get to secondary school
98.4 per cent of P6 pupils progress to secondary school
For the third consecutive year, 98.4 per cent of the Primary 6 pupils who collected their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results yesterday progressed to secondary school.
A total of 39,672 pupils took the PSLE this year, of which 66.6 per cent qualify for the Express course, 20.6 per cent for the Normal (Academic) course and 11.2 per cent for the Normal (Technical) course.
This is the seventh year the Ministry of Education is not revealing the top scorer, in a bid to reduce emphasis on academic results.
Some of these students have charted out their own definitions of success, after overcoming their own battles in life.
One of them is Mohamad Irfan Adi, 12, who was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age.
Reading and writing was difficult, especially in his first two years in primary school, where words would appear jumbled in front of him.
He could identify only words like "is" and "the".
The Bukit Panjang Primary School pupil said: "When I found out I had dyslexia, I was very confused. I thought I was like the rest of my friends, but I was different. It was a sad time for me."
He struggled through lower primary, and in Primary 4, he was placed in the School-based Dyslexia Remediation programme to help him with his languages.
Irfan got support from friends and teachers who encouraged him along the way.
"Whenever I feel discouraged for my PSLE, my friends told me to focus on the present and study hard," Irfan said.
Determined not to fail, he stayed back after school daily to study.
He did well enough to qualify for the Normal (Academic) course, and also won the Top Performers Award in his cohort, along with 12 other pupils.
Another pupil who received her results was Norferlynna Shakira Razis, 12, whose parents are divorced.
From Primary 1 to 4, the Mayflower Primary School pupil did not attend classes regularly.
At most, she went three times a week, sometimes with her homework uncompleted.
She said: "I didn't want to go to school because I was afraid my teachers would scold me if they found out my work wasn't done. Sometimes, my sibling would be too busy to help me."
She picked herself up in Primary 5 after getting encouragement from her friends and family.
"My parents gave me money even on days they didn't have enough, and my dad takes me to school even though he does not have a vehicle," she added.
Norferlynna qualified for the Normal (Technical) course.
She said: "I thought I would fail, but I didn't. I'm really happy with my results."
National University of Singapore economics lecturer Kelvin Seah said the Government is serious about reducing the focus on grades.
He said: "This is in line with its recent efforts to reduce the existing obsession with academic grades, to embrace a genuine love for learning, and to emphasise the holistic development of a child."