SINGAPORE: Primary 3 and Primary 4 students will be able to take Upper Malay and Upper Tamil classes from 2022 and 2023 respectively, following positive feedback on a pilot program.
This was announced by Second Education Minister Maliki Osman on Friday, April 9, during a visit to Westwood Elementary School, one of the pilot schools for the new program.
The new program will expose students to ethnic literature, help them develop higher-level thinking skills and learn grammar and syntax through activities and games, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said.
“This will allow more students to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of these languages and cultures from an early age,” he said.
Thirty-five primary schools participated in the pilot program last year and 54 this year.
The ministry said the students in the pilot program enjoyed the lessons and found them interesting. “The teachers also observed that the lessons were able to pique students’ interest in languages,” he said.
The new classes will complement the upper Chinese classes currently offered to primary 3 and primary 4 students, as well as upper language classes offered to primary 5 and primary 6 students, the ministry added.
“Together, these offers encourage students with a strong interest and aptitude for mother tongues to learn at as high a level as possible.”
During his visit, Dr Maliki also launched the Nabil Nabilah Reader Series for Primary 5 and Primary 6 students, which was distributed to all primary schools in the first week of Quarter 2 of this year. .
The Reader Series, written by primary school Malay teachers, aims to promote a love of reading among students during and beyond their Malay lessons.
It consists of two books containing a total of 20 short stories, each with a “relatable storyline that is set in a local context,” the education ministry said.
There is currently a series of readers for primary 1 and primary 2 students and another for primary 3 and primary 4 students, introduced in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
The three series include 42 books in total and can be viewed online by students, teachers and parents.