It is good that the Education Ministry has decided not to scrap the UPSR as this marks the transition from primary school to secondary school.
The UPSR can be used to gauge any weakness a pupil will have so that remedial steps can be taken. A few students may also decide that they prefer to do vocational training after their UPSR and these students can start learning such skills like carpentry, sewing and bakery etc.
I think parents should play a more active role in nurturing their children rather than the usual activity of just shunting them from one tuition class to another.
I know many parents even take leave to coach their children during school exams and I feel sorry for both as it really places so much stress on passing exams.
I had a more lax attitude with my 4 kids who studied in Singapore but my wife encouraged them to take some tuition not to pass but to get "A"s and I think the maximum for tuition was 2 subjects.
I also suggest the Education Ministry should do more to encourage more inter-school and interstate activities for various uniformed groups like Scouts and SJAB and Cadets as these will improve discipline and racial interaction among our youth.
There is no need to have too intensive a schedule but something like the following:
Twice a year - weekend camp among 2 or 3 schools in a district
Once a year - weekend camp at state level
Once in 3 years - weekend camp at national level
With such a regular program, I am sure when the youths go for NS, there will be fewer problems. In fact the NS could even be shortened to say 2 months as the youths would have already been properly nurtured.
Photo: Thanks to http://www.cs.sjsu.edu/~teoh/personal/photos/places/summer_2006/singapore/schools003.jpg. Even in land scarce Singapore, generous space is provided for games and sports.This is not a sports school.