Prior to taking his N-level examinations five years ago, Temasek Polytechnic (TP) student Eyo Wei Chin was set on the Institute of Technical Education.
The then Secondary 4 Normal (Academic) student, who was barely passing his subjects, reckoned that if he made it to Secondary 5, it would still be tough for him to scrape through the O levels.
But the former Pasir Ris Secondary student did well at the N levels and decided to go for TP's cyber and digital security diploma course via the Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP) instead.
The year-long PFP allows students to skip Secondary 5 and prepares them for the course they are interested in.
This month, the 21-year-old will graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. The awards he will receive include the Lee Kuan Yew Award, which is given to the top technology or computer science polytechnic graduates.
Mr Eyo, who has a keen interest in information technology, said the PFP gave him the "stepping stone" to do well in school. Under the programme, he went through modules that covered research skills, project work and programming.
"It allowed me to interact with my lecturers, explore the school and make friends," he said. "I was able to better focus on my course work when I started the diploma course."
His only concern at the start was that he did not have an O-level qualification. "I wondered how universities or the industry would react," he noted. "But things have worked out well."
Mr Eyo, who will further his studies locally after his national service, said: "The PFP gave me a direct path to pursue my passion for IT, and also allowed me to meet like-minded students, who inspired me to work harder in my studies."