Graphic from The Straits Times

An 11-year-old Singaporean boy jumped off 17 storeys from a Fernvale HDB block where he stayed after failing his examinations. According to the state coroner’s report released yesterday (Oct 21), the boy will be canned “lightly” for every mark he fell short of his mother’s standard of 70 percent in every subject.


The primary 5 student scored: 50 for English, 20.5 for Maths, 53.8 for Chinese, 57.5 for Science, 12 for Higher Chinese. It is understood that the boy took a new harsher examination format preparing for a new PSLE format called the “Transformed Score” recently introduced by the Education Ministry, you may view here for the changes:

Education Minister increase grading pressure on PSLE students: 90 marks

If the exam was a PSLE exam, the boy would have scored an Achievement Level of 25 and he would be relegated to Normal Academic or Normal Technical stream.

On the morning of May 18, the boy was seen in his uniform and his mother told him to change into his physical education attire because he had Wushu lessons. The parents then found his room door locked and opened it with a spare key but the boy was not in the room. Shortly after, the parents found the boy lying motionless at the foot of the HDB block.

The mother was witnessed to have said in Mandarin crying next to the body:

“I only ask for 70 marks, I don’t expect you to get 80 marks.”

State Coroner Marvin Bay said in his closing statement reminding parents that children’s “efforts in study may not always yield a commensurate result, and also that such failures are transient or temporary events.”