Students driven away literally

Merchant of Venice

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From Straits Times Forum:

TUESDAY’S article (“More subjects to choose from, so fewer take pure literature”) revealed the startling statistic that 3,000 students took pure literature last year, compared with 16,970 in 1992.

Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah said this decline “needs to be understood in the context of an education system responsive to a changing social context, and which has offered increasingly more curricular choices for students over time”.

This is misleading.

The initial drastic drop in the candidature for literature occurred in 1992, when the practice of ranking schools based on academic results started.

The next significant dip occurred in 2001, when social studies was introduced as the compulsory “half” of the combined humanities subject.