MOE review to make internships, workplace learning central to poly, ITE education

SINGAPORE — An Education Ministry review that has just been launched is set to make apprenticeships and learning in real-life settings much more important in polytechnic and ITE education.

The review will initially focus on building and construction, nursing, aerospace, manufacturing and early childhood education.

The review committee held its first dialogue with polytechnic and ITE students today (Jan 9) to get their views.

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Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah, who heads the committee, said they will be studying countries like Germany and Switzerland, and their successful models of apprenticeship in education.

Countries around the world are seeing high youth unemployment, Ms Indranee said.

A key objective of the review is to ensure young Singaporeans’ skills match what is needed for jobs now and in the future, as well as to offer good alternatives to a university education.

Ms Indranee said: “Right now there is a very strong desire for the degree because the starting salaries and what they see will be the eventual outcomes. The question is you can still achieve those outcomes without necessarily having to do an immediate university path, or whether you can do it without even having to go through the university path at all. Those are the areas that we are exploring.”

Attachments and internships are already part of the polytechnic and ITE programme today, but they tend to be add-ons to the main curriculum, Ms Indranee said.

“The question is whether we can try to dovetail the two, such that the apprenticeship or internship becomes part and parcel of the curriculum and whole learning process is so deeply intertwined that you get a very strong, real life experience to which you can apply the theory you learnt.” CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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