Students and parents to get more guidance on career paths, education

Nanyang Polytechnic in Ang Mo Kio Ave 8.
Nanyang Polytechnic in Ang Mo Kio Ave 8.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Students and parents will soon have more avenues to get advice on their education and career paths.

By January next year, there will be a total of eight education and career centres in all polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) colleges.

These centres will provide resources for post-secondary students and their parents, said Acting Minister for Education Ng Chee Meng on Friday (Oct 30) at an education and career guidance (ECG) seminar at Nanyang Polytechnic.

A new ECG centre will open at the Education Ministry 's Grange Road campus in November, he added. This facility will be a one-stop-service centre for students in transition, after collecting their N, O and A level results.

Addressing some 1,000 educators and career counsellors at the event, Mr Ng said a 2009 study by MOE found that close to half of young people here chose their courses or careers without "sufficient exploration".

"Students relied on general suggestions from friends and family rather than researching reliable information and choosing options related to their interests, skills or values," he said.

The MOE has come up with resources for parents of all Primary 6 and Secondary 2 students, he said. The publications will help parents guide their children at key points of their education and make sense of the many choices available, he added.

Mr Ng also told the audience his own story of how he chose which university course to enrol in, highlighting the importance of career guidance for young people's lives.

While his personal ambition was to be a fighter pilot, he went from choosing business administration at the National University of Singapore to considering a law degree, and eventually decided on electrical engineering.

"Our students will grow up in a world which increasingly has expectations of a highly skilled and diversified workforce," he said. "This means they will need to continually upgrade their skills and knowledge to be ready to adapt to new jobs."

He added that teachers also need to keep abreast of the rapid changes in the education system and job market, so that they can guide their students.

To help teachers, MOE has deployed the first batch of 50 ECG counsellors to secondary schools, junior colleges, ITE and polytechnics.

It will increase this number to 100 by 2017.