Poly students with a passion
Early Admissions Exercises for polytechnics open
At his interview for a spot in Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Mr Axel Teoh, 19, performed original rap songs.
The performance landed him a spot to pursue a diploma in music and audio technology.
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduate, who studied event management, was initially clueless about his post-ITE options.
"I did not know what to do (after graduation). When I learnt of the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) through a talk, everything fell into place," Mr Teoh told The New Paper.
"Who would have thought that I would be able to enter a course I have always wanted and show my passion through my talent rather than my (examination) results?"
The Ministry of Education introduced the Polytechnic EAE last year.
It allows graduating O-level, final-year Nitec and Higher Nitec students from ITE to apply for and receive conditional offers for admission into polytechnics based on their course-specific aptitudes and interests.
Mr Teoh, who started songwriting in Secondary 4, was talent-spotted by his current mentor and manager in 2015.
Mr Teoh's first music video was released that year, and he will be performing in this year's SHINE Festival, a youth music event.
He said: "EAE is something unique. It is a breath of fresh air for ITE students, and it gives ITE graduates a path to go on. It is beneficial."
Meanwhile, Miss Nicole Chua, 18, turned her learning difficulties into an opportunity to help others.
The first-year student in Temasek Polytechnic (TP) was diagnosed with mild dyslexia when she was in Primary 5, and she suffers from learning difficulties.
During her N-level year, she enrolled in a therapy centre. There, she met a teacher who would shape her future.
Miss Chua, who is pursuing her diploma in early childhood studies, said: "The teacher who helped me was encouraging. She had a lot of confidence in me.
"One reason I (decided to study) early childhood was that I wanted to be someone like that to children.
"I want to be able to help them through whatever difficulties they are going through."
Miss Chua was not confident that she would be able to get into the course of her choice based on exam results alone, but EAE allowed her to follow her passion.
Of EAE, she said: "It helps the people who need it most. Some people really have the passion for certain things.
"So even when they do not get results that meet the cut-off points, EAE still allows them a place, so they can be more reassured and focus on their studies."
Miss Chua now aspires to take a double degree in early childhood and psychology.
The Polytechnic EAE application window for students from ITE opened yesterday. It is open until Wednesday for ITE students, and it is open from June 22 to 28 for O-level students.
The ITE EAE application window for N- or O-level students to enter ITE or Nitec students to progress to Higher Nitec is open from June 21 to 28.