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     Previous FrontPage Edition 23 Sep 2005

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MOE opens more gates for secondary students

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Annex A

STUDY FEASIBILITY OF DEVELOPING NICHE PROGRAMMES IN SELECTED SCHOOLS

INVOLVING LINKAGES WITH POLYTECHNICS

MOE is putting in place a broader and more flexible A-level curriculum, and has introduced a more diverse Junior College/ Upper Secondary landscape including the Integrated Programme and Specialised Independent Schools. This gives students who are keen on the Junior College route to university, added choices that cater to their talents and aspirations.

MOE is studying how we can create further diversity in our school system to cater more fully to the interests and aspirations of students who are keen to progress along an applied and practice-oriented path of education. We will study how selected schools can work with polytechnics to offer relevant applied and practice-oriented subjects and electives to enrich the secondary school curriculum.

MOE will also study if selected schools could establish links with the polytechnics so that capable and interested students can be offered places at the polytechnics after their lower secondary years. These students can gain admission to the polytechnics after completing secondary school without having to sit for the O level examinations. If feasible, this initiative will free up more time and space for these students to engage in broader learning experiences that will prepare them well for further education in the polytechnics, and possibly the universities.

The two main options which will be studied include:

a. Offering relevant applied and practice-oriented subjects and electives mounted in the secondary schools or the polytechnics, to enrich the secondary school curriculum. Currently, Design & Technology is an elective subject with a strong focus on applied learning, and it is available to all students. More of such practice-oriented offerings can be developed.

b. Establishing a closer link between selected secondary schools and polytechnics so that students with suitable abilities can progress to these polytechnics without having to sit for the O level examinations.

Mr Gan Kim Yong, who will be appointed Minister of State for Education from 1 Oct 2005, will chair a Review Committee comprising principals from schools and polytechnics, and MOE officials, to study the feasibility and details of this new pathway in education.

BACKGROUND

At MOEs 2004 Work Plan Seminar, various initiatives were announced to introduce greater flexibility and choice in the education system. These included allowing schools to offer new O level subjects, expanding the range of O level subjects for N(A) students, revising the N(T) curriculum and allowing lateral transfer between N(T) and N(A) courses. The initiatives announced this year will further enhance MOEs effort in this area, thus allowing our teachers to better engage our students and broaden the opportunities for students to learn and develop holistically.

In his 2005 National Day Rally Speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outlined enhancements that will be made to the polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education. This included allowing the polytechnics to link up with specialised foreign institutes to offer degree programmes in niche areas, creating a post secondary education account for students and injecting greater flexibility in the N(T) curriculum. PM Lee emphasised that Singapore had to develop every talent, not just those who were academically inclined.

Annex A

Source: www.moe.gov.sg  Press Release 22 Sep 2005

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