Specialised schools like Crest Secondary remain important in Singapore’s education system: Chan Chun Sing

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SINGAPORE - Specialised schools such as Crest Secondary School and Spectra Secondary School will continue to play an integral role in Singapore’s variegated education landscape, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Thursday evening.

“After the Ministry of Education (MOE) rolled out full subject-based banding, there were many who asked me whether MOE would continue to support Crest and Spectra,” he said. Under full subject-based banding, classes in secondary schools will have a mix of students of different abilities.

Speaking at Crest Secondary’s 10th anniversary celebrations held at the school in Jurong, Mr Chan said Singapore needs a diversity of school options to cater to different student profiles.

Crest and Spectra are specialised schools for Normal (Technical) students which offer run similar programmes that cover academic and vocational subjects. Each take in about 200 students per year.

“It’s not whether Crest or Spectra are better, stronger or weaker than other students in other schools... The students in Crest and Spectra require a different environment, a different pedagogical approach to help them learn,” said Mr Chan.

Not everyone was convinced, when Crest was set up more than a decade ago, he said. “There was no example for us to follow, but instead, we had a group of pioneers who believed.

“When there was no syllabus and curriculum, they developed it. When they was internship opportunities, they found it. When there was a lack of resources and we didn’t know what to do, they overcame it.”

He added: “Today, after 10 years of hard work, we see the fruits of their labour.”

In 2022, about 95 per cent of the two schools’ students had their offers to progress to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) confirmed, after accepting early conditional offers through ITE’s early admissions exercise.

Schools like Crest are important because they aim to bring out the best in students no matter their starting point, said Mr Chan.

“The mark of Singapore is not just how well we inspire the best to do even better. It is also how well we take care of those amongst us who are most in need, and many of the students in Crest are amongst the most in need in Singapore.”

“It is our job as the education fraternity, as partners to try to help t...

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