Integrated Programme (IP) students in Singapore are gradually turning to customized tuition. The Integrated Programme was launched in selected schools in 2004. The intention of this relatively young programme is that while the GCE O Levels serve as a valuable intermediate benchmark for the majority of our pupils, those who are academically strong can benefit from engaging in broader learning experiences during their Secondary and JC years. The IP schools provide an integrated secondary and JC education where secondary school pupils can proceed to JC without taking the GCE O Level Examinations. However, these schools will continue to have school-based assessments to measure pupils’ progress.

In 2012, seven new schools started to offer the Integrated Programme, bringing the total to eighteen. The Ministry of Education also announced that a new junior college will be built in 2017, to serve students from three of the schools. The seven schools are Victoria School, Cedar Girls’ Secondary, Methodist Girls’ School, St Joseph’s Institution, Catholic High School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School and the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.

Since the launch of the IP schools, several tuition centres including Neu Learning Tuition Centre have begun to offer small group customized lessons to cater to IP students whose school devise their own curriculum. Very often, the various school syllabuses differ in pace and depth of content, and parents worry that their children may be attending less fruitful lessons. However, an experienced IP tutor would be able to manage a small group and bring forth the best learning experiences by leveraging on variety as well as common content.

Looking at how the Singapore education system has evolved over the years, such customized small group tuition is most likely to stay for the medium term. This is because the students undergoing the Integrated Programme will have one less opportunity to build up on their exam skills since they do not need to take the O Level Examinations. However, for the A Level Examinations, they will need to compete rigorously with students from the mainstream. Customised tuition for the IP students enables them to learn holistically in schools while picking up valuable examination skills to ensure that they are academically on par or better than the mainstream students.

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