Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng said that schools are guided by the interests and well-being of the child to determine whether children are allowed to take up Higher Mother Tongue.
This is his response to questions filed on 7 February by Mr Low Thia Khiang, MP for Aljunied GRC, who asked the Minister for Education (Schools) whether the Ministry reviews the criteria used by individual primary schools to determine whether students are allowed to take up Higher Mother Tongue to ensure that reasonable consideration is given to students’ interest in the subject instead of it being a purely results-driven process.
The Minister said that the Higher Mother Tongue curriculum is designed to stretch students who have a keen ability and interest in the language. In offering this subject to students, schools need to take into account both their interest and ability.
“As the Higher Mother Tongue curriculum incurs additional curriculum time and heavier learning load, it can be overwhelming to students who are not interested or ready to offer the subject,” he said.
Mr Ng stressed that schools are in a good position to determine their criteria for offering Higher Mother Tongue to students, as they know best the unique profile of their learners and the resources available to the school.
“In making such decisions, schools are guided by the interests and well-being of the child,” he added.
The Minister said that the Ministry of Education (MOE) reminds schools regularly on the considerations that should guide them in offering subjects to students.
“Where specific schools need additional support, MOE will work with the school concerned to provide closer guidance,” he added.