The post-secondary pathways in polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) place strong emphasis on applied education to equip graduates with industry relevant skills which prepare them for the workforce.
This year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will review the opportunities and pathways in applied education to cater to diverse learning interests and needs of polytechnic and ITE students, as well as to better prepare them for the future economy.
This was announced by Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman during the Committee of Supply (COS) Debate on March 3.
Reviewing opportunities and pathways in applied education
The MOE review, led by Maliki, will focus on strengthening institutions' curricular offerings to address industry needs and prepare students for the workforce.
Another priority of the review will be to balance immediate-term job readiness and employment against long-term career resilience in the future economy. This will help students acquire sufficient versatility to seize emerging opportunities over the course of their careers.
The review will also study ways to expand community partnerships and programming to better support and uplift students with higher needs.
For instance, MOE will look into enhancing support for disadvantaged ITE and polytechnic students to enable more of them to complete their studies with a holistic educational experience, and help them achieve their full educational potential.
"Over the past couple of months, we have spoken to over 400 stakeholders, including students and graduates of the polytechnics and ITE, their parents, employers and industry partners, and the staff.
Their perspectives have been valuable in shaping the review’s early work."
Enhancing curriculum in ITE
MOE will also work to enhance ITE’s curricular structure, Maliki added.
MOE has progressively expanded upgrading opportunities for ITE graduates, in line with its commitment to provide opportunities for all ITE graduates to upgrade beyond a Nitec qualification over the course of their careers by 2030.
Building on these efforts, MOE will streamline the ITE curriculum to allow more students to attain a Higher Nitec qualification within a shorter time.
This will give ITE graduates greater access to upgrading opportunities, while ensuring that they remain nimble to meet the needs of industry transformation.
More details will be released in the coming months, Maliki said.
Expansion of Common Entry Programmes
The polytechnics also have plans to expand the Common Entry Programme (CEP) offerings from the Academic Year 2023 intake.
The CEP aims to give students more time to discover their strengths by providing foundational courses before they select an appropriate programme.
CEPs in the polytechnics will be expanded to include the Arts, Design & Media and Sciences clusters.
This adds to the existing suite of CEPs offered in the Engineering, Business, and Information & Digital Technologies clusters.
CEPs have exposed students to different courses within their chosen cluster so that they can appreciate the demands of each course, and discover their interests and strengths before deciding on their specific diploma course.
Top image from Nanyang Polytechnic/FB for illustration purposes only.