N-level results: Student inspired to do well by brother battling cancer

Spectra Secondary School student Nur Aiman Ahmad Raudha (right) with his younger brother Nur Aqmal and their mother Yuhana Abu Bakar. PHOTO: SPECTRA SECONDARY SCHOOL

SINGAPORE - The two years before he sat his N-level examinations in 2022 were tough for Nur Aiman Ahmad Raudha, 16, who had to juggle schoolwork while helping to look after his younger siblings.

His mother was often busy caring for Aiman’s younger brother Nur Aqmal, 15, who had been diagnosed with stage four lymphoma, a cancer that begins in the lymph system.

“I was at the lowest point in my life. I was not able to focus on my studies, had to take care of my younger sister (aged 11), and was constantly worried about my brother and mother, who were in the hospital,” said Aiman, who was studying at Spectra Secondary School.

He said his brother inspired him to do well in his studies and extracurricular activities.

“When my brother was diagnosed in 2020, I did not tell anyone. I was afraid I was going to lose him... He inspired me to be more patient and resilient in the face of challenges. Giving up is not an option,” he said, adding that his brother is receiving treatment after a relapse.

Aiman received his N-level results on Monday and is currently enrolled in the Institute of Technical Education to pursue a Higher Nitec in electronics engineering. 

Aside from a “few As”, he also received a number of academic and leadership awards, and graduated as one of his former school’s top 16 performers.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said 13,414 students from the Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) streams took the N-level exams in 2022.

Of the 4,414 Normal (Technical) students who sat the exams, 98 per cent passed, a touch lower than last year’s 98.1 per cent. The passing rate for Normal (Academic) students was 99.5 per cent.

Of the 9,000 Normal (Academic) candidates, 78.4 per cent made the cut for promotion to Secondary 5 in 2023, compared with 79.2 per cent in 2022.

To make the grade, these candidates must obtain an aggregate of 19 points or lower in English, mathematics and the best three subjects, and at least a Grade 5 for all subjects.

MOE and SEAB said 51.9 per cent of school candidates from the Normal (Academic) course sat the GCE O-level exams.

“Schools will take into consideration their combined GCE Normal (Academic)-level and school-based O-level preliminary examination results when determining their eligibility for progression to Secondary 5 Normal (Academic) or post-secondary pathways,” they added.

Normal (Academic) students who score an aggregate of 19 points and lower in English, maths and the best three subjects, and meet subject-specific entry requirements for their chosen course, can apply for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP).

MOE and SEAB said that under the DPP, students who complete their Higher Nitec course at ITE and get the minimum qualifying grade point average are guaranteed a place in a polytechnic diploma course mapped to their Higher Nitec course.

There will be 1,200 DPP places offered across all three ITE colleges in 2022. Students can apply from Dec 19.

Students can also opt for the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP), a one-year foundation programme at the polytechnics to prepare students for entry into diploma courses.

They must obtain an aggregate score of 12 points or lower, and meet the subject-specific requirements for their chosen course.

Students who pass all the modules in the PFP can continue and earn their diplomas at the polytechnics. About 1,500 PFP places are on offer and students can apply from January 2023.

Meanwhile, Normal (Technical) students can apply to enrol in ITE’s two-year Nitec or three-year Higher Nitec programmes.

They may also apply to be transferred to Sec 4 Normal (Academic), if they have obtained Grade A for both English and maths, and Grade B or better for one other subject at the Normal (Technical)-level Examination.

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