Despite the COVID-19 situation, the Direct School Admission (DSA) exercise for this year will proceed with some adjustments to its evaluation process.
This was announced by Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung when asked if schools will continue to accept applications between mid-May and early June, similar to previous years.
The DSA exercise allows Primary 6 students to apply to some schools before taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Students apply based on their talent in sports, CCAs and specific academic areas.
Mr Ong said the Education Ministry will endeavour to maintain the same number of DSA placements this year compared to last year, which is about 3,500. However, traditional selection methods like trials and auditions would have to change to observe safe distancing measures.
As such, schools will conduct interviews through video-conferencing tools. “To ensure an even playing field with a common setting and equipment for e-interviews, students will go to their own primary school to participate in the e-interviews. These sessions will take place from early July to mid-September, and will be scheduled and spaced out to avoid inter-mingling of students. Schools may also conduct simple e-auditions in a similar way, for arts categories such as singing, dancing or drama,” he explained.
With the suspension of the National School Games and absence of selection trials, Mr Ong called on secondary schools “to give more recognition to the student’s talent, potential, passion and character” through their school track record and online DSA applications.
He also asked primary schools to step up efforts to encourage students with ability and potential, especially those from less advantaged family backgrounds.
Image from Minister Ong Ye Kung’s Facebook