Something Better Than The School Picker App

sch-picker-jc-search-results-ss.JPG

In an effort to make choosing schools easier for parents and students, the School Picker app was created by developers from data.gov.sg in May this year. I explored the School Picker app to determine how useful the app would be in choosing a suitable school for your child/yourself.

Useful features of the app

The app allows you to search for a school based on the following information:

  • educational level (primary school, secondary school and junior college)
  • your postal code
  • CCA interests
  • type of school (e.g. government, independent)
  • special needs facilities

The app also provides the following information for each school:

  • latest cut-off points
  • CCA achievements
  • CCAs offered
  • general information (e.g. type of school, affiliated schools)
  • subjects offered
  • contact details (email, address, telephone number)
  • nearest MRT station and bus services

Limitations of the app

The app does not have information on other educational institutions like polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). However, this could be because these educational instituitions are not under the Ministry of Education (MOE) and at the same time, offer a vast number of courses.

While the app shows you the latest cut-off points for each school, it does not allow you to search for schools based on schools’ cut-off points. This feature may have been intentionally omitted because MOE has been de-emphasizing students’ examination results in recent years. However, I think this is a feature that many people would find useful, especially since the choices of schools available to students are limited by their examination results.

Other useful online tools/resources to pick a school

  1. MOE’s School Information Service (SIS) actually allows you to search for secondary schools and junior colleges based on a range of PSLE aggregate scores and L1R4/L1R5 aggregate scores. In fact, you can filter your search results using the same filters that the School Picker app currently has (see screenshot below)! sis-moe-portal-ss.PNG

  2. The Joint Portal of the Polytechnics in Singapore allows you to view a list of all polytechnic courses available and search for courses based on JAE course clusters (e.g. applied sciences, humanities). The latest cut-off points for each course are also provided. You can also view more information (e.g. entry requirements, career prospects) on each course by clicking on the name of the course.

  3. ITE’s website provides useful information (e.g. entry requirements, career prospects) on the courses offered by ITE.

Verdict

The School Picker app provides comprehensive information on primary schools, secondary schools and junior colleges. However, it has several limitations as of now, such as the absence of a search filter based on aggregate scores, and information on other types of educational institutions. If you are searching for a suitable primary school/secondary school/junior college right now, MOE’s SIS will probably be more useful for you.

Do you know of other useful tools or resources to pick a suitable school? Let us know in the comments section below!

comments powered by Disqus