The National Teachers College
Secondary education in Singapore
Most secondary schools in Singapore offer 4-year or 5-year courses leading up to the GCE O-level examination. A notable exception are the Integrated Programme (IP) schools, which offer a 6-year course leading up to the GCE A-level examination or the International Baccalaureate examination. Autonomous schools have more autonomy as compared to other government-run secondary schools to plan their own curriculum and activities. However, such schools may charge a SGD$3 to SGD$18 miscellaneous fee on top of the regular school fees paid ...view middle of the document...
A foreign language, either French, German, Japanese or Spanish can be taken in addition to the mother tongue or can replace it. This is especially popular with students who are struggling with their mother tongues, expatriates, or students returning from abroad. Non-Chinese students may also study Standard Mandarin and non-Malay students Malay as a third language. This programme is known as CSP (Chinese Special Programme) and MSP (Malay Special Programme). Mother Tongue teachers conduct these lessons in school after usual hours. Students of Higher Mother Tongue languages are allowed to have up to two points taken off their O-level scoring, unless the student's Higher Mother Tongue is used as their L1 in computation of L1R5. The Ministry of Education Language Centre (MOELC) provides free language education for most additional languages that other schools may not cover, and provides the bulk of such education, admitting several thousand students each year.
"Normal (Academic)", or "Normal (Technical)"
Normal is a four-year course leading up to a Normal-level (N-level) exam, with the possibility of a fifth year followed by an O-level. Normal is split into Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical). In Normal (Technical), students take subjects of a more technical nature, such as Design and Technology, while in Normal (Academic) students are prepared to take the O-level exam and normally take subjects such as Principles of Accounting. In 2004, the Ministry of Education announced that selected students in the Normal course would have an opportunity to sit for the O-level exam directly without first taking the N-level exam.There are ongoing debates about the effectiveness of streaming, with some arguing that it should be abolished due to its detrimental psychological effects.
With the exception of schools offering the Integrated Programme, which leads to either an International Baccalaureate Diploma or to an A-level exam, most students are streamed into a wide range of course combinations at the end of their second year, bringing the total number of subjects they have to sit at O-level to between six to ten, with English, Mother Tongue or Higher Mother Tongue Language, Mathematics, one Science and one Humanities Elective being compulsory. Several new subjects such as Computing and Theatre Studies and Drama are being introduced in tandem with the Ministry of Education's revised curriculum.
Co-curricular activity (CCA) is compulsory at the primary and secondary levels, where all pupils must participate in at least one core activity. CCAs offered at the secondary level are usually categorized as Uniformed Groups, Performing Arts, Clubs & Societies and Sports & Games Competitions. There are many CCAs offered at the secondary school level, however, the exact offering differs from school to school. Students may choose to participate in more than 1 CCA.
Participation is CCAs are graded together with other non-academic...