𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗦𝗼𝗼𝗻 𝗝𝘂𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝘆 𝗰𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀. 𝗡𝗼 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹
The reason why MOE is now completely doing away with streaming today is because they have fine-tuned it, customised it to meet every child’s needs.
Instead of 3 broad stream (Exp, NA, NT), there are now MULTIPLE streams.
Instead of having to swim in a broad stream, a child will swim in different streams according to his strengths in the different subjects, a fast stream for the subject/s he is strong in and a slower stream for those he is weaker in.
This, you can have a class of mixed abilities where students interact and play together, for example during PE lessons. When it comes to language classes or Math for example, they move to their respective streams (G1, G2, G3) where they learn according to their abilities. There is provision for lateral movement from one level to another. Thus makes it dynamic and flexible for students.
Subject-banding, then, is a form of streaming that is even better than broad streaming based on the overall performance of the students. It recognises that a child may be weak in say, language, but strong in other areas.
This abolition of streaming is nothing like what Chee Soon Juan imagined for which he is busy claiming credit.
Streaming is not a bad thing. The stigma students faced from streaming is a societal bias. Societal bias is an attitude of society that society must self-reflect and deal with it. Why do people look down on those they perceive to be weaker?
Thousands of students who had gone through the Normal stream have done very well today. They are successful people in their own right.
Streaming had allowed them to strengthen their foundation and then to accelerate.
This is unlike the days before streaming was introduced – the days of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ system – where many repeatedly failed the same exams until they became demoralised and lost confidence in themselves. Some even described themselves as the ‘buay tak che’ (Hokkien) type. They did not rise above their station in life. It was a sad tale for many.
Singapore will never go back to the days of a one-size-fits-all education system where there was no streaming.
And the sun will still rise if Chee Soon Juan oversleeps or forgets to crow.