With choices galore, how should students decide where to go after the O’s?A good way to start is to find out where their abilities, interests and value systems lie.
Question that i will ask the students will be:
“Is the academic path what they have an aptitude for or are interested in? Are they more suited for hands-on, practical courses? Will their personal interests – whether in sports, the arts or other areas – be catered to?”
JCs would suit academically-inclined students who want a more direct path to university. They can also provide a stronger sense of community, as students wear uniforms, are put in smaller classes and are subjected to the culture and ethos of their JC.
Polytechnic education, on the other hand, is valued for its practical nature and relevance to the industry requirements. Itis also seen as an increasingly viable route to University. Students from polytechnic benefit from industrial attachments and practical projects which give them the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills. I can attest to earlier statements for polytechnic education – as i was a product from there and are doing really well. After my O Levels, whereby i scored pretty well and given the choice to join a top-ranking JC – i went for a Diploma course in Singapore Polytechnic. I learned alot during those days in Polytechnic as well as the 2 industrial attachments (@ Nestle R & D Centre and a Chemical Testing Laboratory in Singapore). After 3 years, I graduated with a Diploma in Chemical Process Technology (with merit) and went on for further education in National University of Singapore for a honours degree course in Applied Chemistry. I must say that the Diploma course in Polytechnic stimulated my mind in Chemistry and thus the Chemical related industry. You can see more in the tab on “about” at the top of this page.
Another alternative for O Level leavers is the ITE, which prides itself on a “hands-on, minds-on, hearts-on” education. It produces 10,000 workforce-ready graduates a year.Some of their courses, such as Digital Audio and Video Production, qualify students for industries where portfolios matter more than academic qualifications. ITE provide opportunities for O-Level school leavers without the five O-levels needed to enroll in polytechnics, but who have the passion, interest and aptitude for such training.
The Key to making the right post O-Levels choice is to ask questions and be active in exploring options. All students should take the time to do research, ask questions, go to open houses…so they can check which avenue affords them the best opportunity to develop themselves in the way they want.
For the coming week, i will further explore with you on some new and niche courses that are available for O-Level holders to enrol and enjoy. Talk to you then…