Some 300 places in early childhood education poly courses to be offered via early admission

SINGAPORE - Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) will be offering more than 300 places across their full-time early childhood education diploma courses, as part of the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) starting on Wednesday (June 22).

The EAE, which began this year, allows students to secure a place in a diploma course of their choice even before they sit the O-level exams. It caters to students with abilities and interests in a specific course as well as those with talents in other areas such as sports and community service.

The scheme replaces the Direct Polytechnic Admissions (DPA) exercise. The Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise (JPSAE) is also folded into the EAE.

The polytechnics have been expanding their full-time early childhood education courses - taking in a record 590 students for three such diplomas this year (2016), a 74 per cent increase from last year (2015). Of these, 265 students were admitted through the DPA or JPSAE.

NP offers the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and the Diploma in Child Psychology & Early Education, and TP offers the Diploma in Early Childhood Studies.

In a joint media statement on Monday (June 20), Mr Clarence Ti, NP's principal, said the polytechnics "hope to see more students who have the aptitude and interest in early childhood education be given priority in gaining admission to courses in this field" through the EAE.

Mr Ang Teck Hua, Director of TP's Centre for Child Study, added: "In our selection process, applicants would have an opportunity to observe unobtrusively, the working environment of TP's laboratory preschool. This sneak preview is to give applicants a better appreciation of what an early childhood profession entails."

Instead of one-to-one interviews with a panel of lecturers, students invited to interviews will be assessed based on their participation in group interviews as well as activities to gauge how suitable they are for working with children.

EAE applications will close on June 29 and short-listed candidates will be required to go for interviews from July 4 to Aug 16.

The Early Childhood Development Agency is also supporting successful EAE applicants who will automatically be offered a training award, which is worth up to $40,000 per student, includes full sponsorship of tuition fees and an $800 monthly allowance.

Prior to 2015, early childhood diploma students would have to apply separately for the award.