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    Nov 30, 2015

    Parents compile list of top PSLE scores

    A MOVE to stop revealing the names and scores of top performers at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) to reduce the emphasis on academic results has not stopped parents from compiling their own lists of top scores.

    When primary schools withheld the scores of their high flyers after the PSLE results were released last Wednesday, parents turned to websites such as Kiasuparents to assemble unofficial lists of aggregate scores attained by the supposed top pupils in their children's schools.

    They told The Straits Times that the lists of top PSLE scores online would give them some indication of whether their children have a shot of getting into "brand name" secondary schools here.

    "It is about managing expectations. At the end of the day, we don't want our children to be disappointed if they can't get into a particular school," said engineer Daniel Yeo, 44, whose son received his results last Wednesday.

    Other parents looking to register their children at a primary school next year noted the lists' usefulness.

    It is the fourth year that the Education Ministry (MOE) has not named the top PSLE scorer. It also withheld the highest and lowest scores achieved by pupils in the cohort since 2013.

    Some online lists claim the highest score by the cohort was 283, by pupils at Rulang and Nanyang primary schools.

    Timothy Chan, director of SIM Global Education's academic division, said: "Some parents may be curious as to where their children stand against the rest of the cohort.

    "Other parents, who are looking to send their children to a primary school but are anxious about making a wise choice, can also use it as a yardstick to see if a school is good."

    Online site Kiasuparents started its list of top scores, with input from parents, after "suffering heavy traffic" following the release of the results in previous years. The site also published a similar list after last year's PSLE.

    Previously, parents would head to its forums to post the highest scores obtained in various schools.

    Kiasuparents co-founder William Toh, 49, said that the site would see the number of hits spike by five times in the days following the results.

    "We started this because parents may need help deciding which schools to put their children in. If we didn't offer the list, they would still do one themselves anyway."

    He added that the scores are indicative and may not be an accurate reflection of actual performance.

    Schools last Wednesday celebrated their top scorers in groups rather than individually. They also recognised the pupils who showed great improvements, overcame odds in their lives or did well in non-academic areas such as sports.

    Some parents lauded the MOE's effort to do away with revealing the highest and lowest scores attained by pupils yearly.

    "A child has potential that goes beyond academic results and it is good that schools realise that," said housewife Colleen Tan, 46, who has two sons aged 12 and 16. "Parents, too, need to recognise that."