More skills subject choices for Crest and Spectra Sec students

Spectra Secondary School and Crest Secondary School will offer the new Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Skills Subject Certificate. PHOTO: ST FILE

Students joining Crest Secondary School and Spectra Secondary School next year will get to explore more skills in an effort to give them more flexibility.

As part of a new qualification called the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Skills Subject Certificate (ISSC), students can take two of five new skills subjects over Secondary 3 and 4. Currently, those in the two specialised schools for Normal (Technical) students specialise in just one area.

About 300 to 400 students per cohort will take the new ISSC subjects, starting with those reaching Secondary 3 in 2021, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday.

The five skills subjects are mechanical design and automation, culinary and restaurant operations, retail and e-commerce, and two new areas that were chosen to meet growing industry needs - Internet of Things applications, and mobile Web applications.

The ISSC will replace the current ITE Skills Certificate (ISC) courses: facility services, mechanical servicing, hospitality services and retail services.

In a statement, MOE said the new certification aims to provide students with a more broad-based curriculum that widens exposure to different industry growth areas.

Spectra Secondary principal Krishnan Aravinthan said: "It gives students more opportunities to try certain skills here first and have a broader perspective of what's available at ITE."

Crest Secondary principal Seet Tiat Hee said the changes were a result of a review of the two specialised schools completed earlier this year.

"By right, our students can go out to work with their ISC qualification, but many of them want to continue learning," he said, adding that more than 90 per cent of them move on to ITE courses.

"They are doing well, capable, and we thought there's a need to stretch them further, let them explore their interests and expose them to different areas." The new disciplines will also cater to students who are interested in the IT sector, he added.

Crest and Spectra students take Normal (Technical) subjects like mathematics and science, along with the skills-based subjects, which cover core technical skills and knowledge. They also go for industry attachments to gain work experience.

The schools are preparing taster modules of the five subjects for students to undertake in their lower secondary years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2018, with the headline More skills subject choices for Crest and Spectra Sec students. Subscribe