New portal to simplify DSA application
To be launched next year, it will help disadvantaged pupils
From next year, pupils applying to secondary schools via the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme can do so through a centralised online portal.
This means they need to fill in only one application form. The application will also be made free of charge.
In addition, pupils will be limited to three choices, and only two of these choices can be to the same school.
The changes to the DSA-Secondary exercise was announced by Second Minister for Education Indranee Rajah, who was speaking at the Arts Education Conference at Raffles City Convention Centre yesterday.
The changes are the latest in MOE's efforts to allow students with different learning styles to be evaluated more holistically, as part of its efforts to recognise non-academic aptitude and skills, and support the multiple pathways taken by students with various interests.
Those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds may not be as well informed on some of the choices and opportunities available.Ms Indranee Rajah on the centralised DSA application portal
Speaking about the changes to the DSA, Ms Indranee said that while the common portal will make it more convenient and easier for all applicants, it will be an added benefit for disadvantaged families.
Recognising the portal will simplify the application process for them, she said: "For parents who are not so conversant in applying for DSA, it is very difficult to go to different schools and make different applications, and you also think about the time that it takes.
"Those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds may not be as well informed on some of the choices and opportunities available."
With the portal, school data, such as the pupil's academic results and their school-based achievements, will automatically be shared with the school that the pupil applies to.
This eliminates the need for pupils to submit hard copy documents, and schools will not have to spend time verifying these documents.
All schools will also be aligned to a common application timeline, from May 8 to June 4, for next year's exercise. Thus, pupils and their parents will not have to keep track of multiple deadlines if they apply to more than one school.
To remove financial barriers, all administrative and test fees will be waived. Currently, some schools charge up to $50 an application.
Previously, there was also no limit on the number of schools pupils could apply to and the talents they could use. But with the changes, they are now given only three choices.
Pupils can use more than one talent to apply to the same school, but they cannot use all three choices on that school.
MOE said it hopes this will encourage parents and pupils to make their choices judiciously and select those that can develop the child's strengths and interest at a suitable pace.
Pupils can apply through the portal using one of their parents' SingPass logins.