The Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore will be launching a new portal in 2019 for the students applying to secondary schools through the Direct School Admission (DSA). This will be done to simplify the application process and help the children from a disadvantageous background.
“The application process was simplified in order to encourage students to tap on the expanded DSA opportunities,” said MOE in a press release issued today.
Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Education of Singapore, while talking to the media said, “While the portal will make the process easier and more convenient for all applicants, it will have an added benefit for those who come from less advantaged backgrounds.”
“For families that come from more disadvantaged backgrounds, especially parents who are not so conversant with how to go about applying (for DSA), it’s very difficult when you have to go to different schools and make different applications. So it is our assessment that having an online portal also helps those from less advantaged backgrounds as it just simplifies the process,” she added.
Starting this year, all secondary schools can now admit up to 20 per cent of their non-Integrated Programme (non-IP) Secondary 1 intake via DSA-Sec. This is an increase from 5 per cent for Schools with Distinctive Programmes and 10 per cent for Autonomous Schools.
All schools will have a common DSA-Sec application timeline (period of application will span over a four-week period from May 8 to June 4, 2019) and the application method will be via a centralised online portal. Applicants only need to fill in one online form to apply to multiple schools, and their details will be provided electronically to the schools.
The application form has also been simplified and there is no need for submission of certificates. For example, school information such as the student’s Primary 5 and Primary 6 academic results, Co-curricular Activities (CCA), school-based achievements/awards will be automatically shared with the schools that the student applies to. Therefore, no certificates, transcripts or testimonials will be required from the students.
Currently, parents and students have to submit hardcopy applications individually to schools, which may have different application deadlines.
In addition to this, application through the portal is free-of-charge, to remove financial barriers for any student with talent and potential, and to encourage students, regardless of background, to apply for DSA. Students can apply through the portal via one of their parents’ SingPass login. Parents who do not have access to SingPass can approach their child’s primary school for assistance.
However, while students could previously apply to as many schools and talent areas as they wanted, there will now be a limit of three schools and three talent areas for each student. Students may apply for up to two different talent areas from the same school.
“The limit of three choices will encourage students and parents to consider their DSA selection judiciously,” said MOE.