National School Games: MOE To Review Competitions For Primary School




The National inter-primary school competition has been around for decade. Many students would have had fond memories of the competitions in primary school. Introduced in 1959, the National School Games conduct its competitions from January to August.


New rules

Former Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng announced that the tournaments will be redesigned to reduce the “perceived stakes” in sports contests and increase playing opportunities. As such, he mentioned that there will be new rules for the competition.

Mr Ng said, “I look forward to seeing these important changes that support the development of our young athletes, especially in reducing the perceived stakes of competitions at a young age and instilling a growth mindset in our students through sports.”


Exciting development

This is a good move in creating a more holistic education experience in the primary schools. Coupled with the recent changes in the PSLE grading system, it is a sign that MOE is making the primary school experience more enriching and fulfilling for the young.

Primary schools should focus more on holistic development and less on a grades-based school system.

The review on the National School Games in primary schools will be chaired by committees in charge of the 21 sports competitions organised by the Singapore Primary Schools Sports Council (SPSSC). This panel will also involve MOE staff, teachers, principals, school management and the NSA, National Sports Associations. It was also mentioned that this could possibly extend to inter secondary school competitions.


Starting the ball rolling

‘As part of the review, a three-tier competition system has been implemented for rugby, for a start. Under the traditional competition structure, schools compete in a round-robin format, with the top two schools from each group advancing to the next stage of the competition. With the new system, schools knocked out in the round-robin stage will continue to compete at the “second-tier” level. Those that top their groups will advance to the “first-tier” level. As a result, students, including substitute players, will have more playing time, with more chances of experiencing small successes to encourage them along the way,’ Mr Ng said. – Channel News Asia

Many students place too much pressure and overwhelming stress on themselves in such competitions. Going back to basics, the idea of CCA in primary schools should be about exploring one’s strengths and interests, about having fun.