Committee of Supply debate: Ministry of Education

Taking EAE route to pursue passion in performing arts

Ms Suvetha Rajalingam said the Early Admissions Exercise gives students like her a chance to study what they love. She has been interested in theatre production since her childhood.
Ms Suvetha Rajalingam said the Early Admissions Exercise gives students like her a chance to study what they love. She has been interested in theatre production since her childhood.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Ms Suvetha Rajalingam, 18, loves the performing arts.

But she may not have got a place in Republic Polytechnic to do arts and theatre management if not for the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE).

The scheme allows polytechnics to select students based on criteria other than academic results, like their suitability for certain courses.

Ms Suvetha, who will start her diploma studies next month, is not a whizz in her academic studies. She got an L1R4 score of 25 points - for English and four relevant subjects - in her O-level examinations last year. Had she applied through the normal admissions route, her score would have put most of the courses out of her reach.

But she found out about the EAE from a school talk, leading her to apply for her desired course before the O-level examinations.

"I was afraid I might not be able to make it through with just my O levels, so I applied through the EAE," she told The Straits Times.

The former St Anthony's Canossian Secondary School student, who played the angklung as her co-curricular activity, has been interested in theatre production since she was a child, and has participated in several performances.

To be selected for the course, she produced a portfolio of her achievements. She also had to undergo an interview, during which she was quizzed about her interests.

She is pleased that from the next academic year, more students can use EAE to enter their desired courses.

Ms Suvetha, who aspires to be a production manager in plays, said the EAE gives students like her a chance to pursue their passion.

"I know it is not going to be a walk in the park, but I am ready to put in the hard work," she added.

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Taking EAE route to pursue passion in performing arts'. Print Edition | Subscribe