MOE launches pilot study to drop selection trials for CCAs
Minister announces more steps to encourage children to pursue interests, increase CCA participation
In its latest push to encourage children to pursue their interests and focus less on performance, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will look at dropping selection trials for co-curricular activities (CCAs).
Starting this year at a few primary schools, the pilot study will see the selected schools trim the number of CCAs offered but guarantee students admission into the CCA of their choice, which has long been the bugbear of parents and students alike due to limited places.
The ministry has in recent years been taking steps to raise CCA participation levels among students.
CHANCE TO COMPETE
Last year, it tweaked the National School Games (NSG) junior division (for pupils aged nine to 11) to give children, even the less skilled, a chance to compete. Among the changes were removing individual events in some sports and rewarding participation instead of finishing first.
The annual NSG features 29 sports and involves about 60,000 student-athletes.
MOE has also, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, launched the Strategic Partnership CCA scheme for athletics and ethnic dance at secondary schools. Under this programme, students can pursue their interests and represent their school in national competitions, even if the school does not offer the sport as a CCA. Students also receive CCA points recognition.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said at yesterday's launch of the NSG: "We want to present wider options to students to cater to the diverse CCA interests and talents of students... We will therefore need to think outside the box and offer wider options through other means."
MOE will also begin improving infrastructure - beginning in phases this year and expected to be completed by 2024 - geared towards promoting sports.
Playgrounds in 10 primary schools will double in size from 120 sq m to 240 sq m, while 16 MOE kindergartens will be expanded to 160 sq m.
All outdoor courts at primary and secondary schools will be refitted with acrylic-coated surfaces, which are more conducive and safer for physical activities and sports.
Another 40 primary and secondary schools without covered basketball courts will be provided with shelters. This is part of the MOE's push to ensure that all schools here are equipped with at least three covered play courts (a multi-purpose hall, an indoor sports hall and a sheltered basketball court).