More vocational training in schools

As a business student, I identify with the importance of internships in priming oneself for the working world.

However, vocational education takes this out-of-classroom exposure to a whole new level.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interact with students from Crest Secondary School as part of a field trip.

Crest Secondary School is a specialised school for Normal (Technical) students who take Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Skills Certificate courses on top of studying academic subjects.

Together with Crest Secondary students, we visited Pulau Hantu island and were left to our devices to "survive" - we had to start and sustain a fire to cook our lunch, for example.

Two of the Crest Secondary students in my group were from the hospitality track in school, and they immediately rose to the occasion by washing and slicing the food.

What inspired me was how they fervently protected the food from flies, and their pride in telling others that they liked what they were learning in school.

Such passion is not as often expressed for typical academic subjects, thus highlighting the effectiveness of vocational education in Singapore.

As a student, I hope that more courses in school will incorporate more practical experience to better prepare us for the future.

Cheryl Low, 20

Undergraduate Year 2

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2018, with the headline 'More vocational training in schools'. Print Edition | Subscribe