More foundational modules to be introduced in polytechnics
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be broadening pathways to polytechnics to allow students to discover their interests and aptitudes, said Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung in Parliament yesterday.
As part of this approach, there will be more Common Entry Programmes, or CEPs, at the polys.
CEPs offer foundational modules in a certain cluster, giving students the chance to try out different aspects of the cluster before specialising.
For instance, a student interested in the information and digital technologies cluster will take foundational courses in computing mathematics, introduction to programming and networking fundamentals in his first year.
He will decide on his specialisation in his second year.
Currently, all polys offer an engineering CEP. From next year, they will offer more CEPs in areas such as business and information and digital technologies. These two new CEPs will account for 30 per cent of their cluster intake.
Polys will also be reducing the number of courses by 20 per cent over the next two to three years, by streamlining and merging overly specific courses.
Besides CEPs, MOE will be expanding the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP), which gives Normal (Academic) students a chance to go directly to poly courses after a year of training following their GCE N-level examinations. The first batch of students from this programme graduated last year.
The criteria for students to be admitted into PFP will be lowered from an aggregate of 11 points and below to 12 points and below. The intake will also increase from 1,200 to 1,500.
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will also be recognising students' interests and aptitudes in specific courses, instead of just academic results.
Currently, the course-level allowance for students admitted through the ITE Early Admissions Exercise is 30 per cent to 50 per cent. This will be increased to allow 100 per cent of the course intake to be admitted through early admission.
The overall Early Admissions Exercise allowance remains at 15 per cent of the total intake.
- SUE-ANN TAN