Polytechnic education or Junior College education


Recently, there are a few letters written to TODAY newspaper – 12 January and 15 January 2007 on the subject of Polytechnic education versus Junior College (JC) education. The 12 January letter was written by Vivienne Lim on behalf of a friend who was posted to a JC at the start of the school year.


Students, who have completed the preliminary examinations and before the GCE “O” Level results are released, are allowed to admit to a JC on a provisional basis. Students can also wait for the GCE “O” Level results to be released before they decide on whether to pursue a polytechnic education or a JC education.


Vivienne Lim wrote that the Vice-Principal of a JC in the north had made several disparaging remarks about polytechnics to her friend who wanted to withdraw from JC and go into polytechnic instead.


Subsequently, two letters appeared on 15 January in TODAY newspaper strongly affirming that they had benefited from the polytechnic education and they are currently studying at NTU and SMU. The messages are “I quit JC for poly – no regrets” and “Stop stereotyping …”.


The choice between polytechnic and JC education has been a perennial struggle for batches of GCE “O” Level students. There is no perfectly right or bad decision when you choose a JC or a polytechnic. There is no need to compare JC education and polytechnic education and say one is superior to the other. Each is unique and serves a different purpose and education pathway. In fact, good practices are being shared between JC and polytechnic that there are some degree of convergence, albeit a small one.


What I will advocate is for students to assess their strengths and interests. Ultimately, education is to enable us to earn a living and therefore career choice must be a factor to consider. In the case of parents, I will advise that you provide your child with relevant information and let your child follows his/her heart. You would want your child to be happy studying and not to force them to study what he/she does not like. Your child should not live your dreams. Your child must live his/hers.


Written on 1/16/2007 10:10 AM


Copyright © 2007, the author known as LKT in Singapore.


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