Impacts of Student Retention
This report will explore the concepts of existing education policies
in a developed country – Singapore. The Minister of Education of
Singapore commissioned this report to account for the impacts of
student retention to its advantages, disadvantages and impacts.
This report is constructed with at least 6 credible scholarly articles
and the MOE’s official website. Although the idea of retention in
Singapore is not unfamiliar, this report will distinguish the
ramifications of retention and describes the implications of
retention in a developed country like Singapore.
2.0 Purpose of Grade Retention
2.1 Goals of Retention
The practice of holding back ostensibly weaker students for
one more year on the grounds of failed academic prowess is
common in Singapore. Retention policy calls for requiring students
who have failed to achieve satisfactorily to repeat their current
grade the following year. “Promotional Gates in certain grades
found that 20 to 40 percent of the students did not qualify for
promotion” (Brophy 2006, 13). This is motivated by a conservative
belief that retaining students provides another opportunity to
master content which students failed to master and consequently
leave students better equipped to succeed in the following year.
“Most grade repetition in developed countries is imposed by
schools on low-achieving students who have made poor progress
despite regular attendance” (Brophy 2006, 12).
2.2 Does Retention Satisfy Original Goals
“Sixth grade students rated grade retention as the single
most stressful life event” (Riggert et al 2006, 71). Repetition is
principally made up of two forms, voluntary and involuntary.
Voluntary happens when students whom are considered “at risk”
drop out of school before attempting the final exams “Repetition is associated with low achievement and early dropout” (Brophy 2006,