Introduction

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The Ministry of Education seeks to strike a better balance between the teaching of knowledge and the development of skills and values and to raise the quality of primary education for all children in Singapore. At lower primary (Primary 1 and 2), when students are just beginning school, a key focus should be placed on building pupils’ confidence and desire to learn. In these early years, too much emphasis on formal semestral examinations may not be the optimal way to achieve these outcomes. A better approach would be to use assessment to support and improve learning. The Committee believes that we have to equip our children with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to flourish in an increasingly competitive, complex and inter-connected world. While a strong grasp of the basic literacies remains important for success in the knowledge economy, we also want our children to retain a sense of curiosity, to enjoy learning and to grow up as confident, well-adjusted individuals who can form healthy relationships and work well with others. This provides a strong impetus for us to invest in a quality primary education, one which is well-balanced and provides our children with strong foundations for future learning.