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How did you help or guide Amanda in the decision-making process? 

After the O-Level results were released and it was time to guide Amanda in choosing a polytechnic course. My main concern was to find a course she was interested in. I wanted Amanda to study what she wanted instead of just any course for the sake of obtaining a diploma. I wanted her to enjoy her 3 years of studying and pursue a course she would excel in. 

How did Amanda make the decision to study in RP? 

RP was one of her choices when considering a polytechnic and the course to pursue. Other than helping her shortlist the courses she was eligible for, we also asked Amanda to seek advice from her uncle who worked in supply chain management to gain more insight into this industry. 

What is the most positive change you saw in your Amanda after her days in RP? 

The biggest change I saw in Amanda was her ability to present herself in front of an audience. She would probably not be comfortable doing this in the past but I can see she is more confident now. This is a skill which I believe will be beneficial for her in university and when she enters the workforce.

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How did Azzad decide to study at RP?

My elder son also attended RP, and Azzad became very interested in following in his footsteps after hearing him talk about his time there. He thought the Problem-based Learning method sounded unique and very helpful. He was also interested in the daily grading system, which helped him to monitor his progress.

What is the most positive change you have seen after Azzad’s time at RP?

As his mother, I knew that he was having a great time at RP. This is the course he chose, and he was very interested in the things he was learning about. He has become more confident, more articulate, focused and very sure of what he wants for his future.

How did you guide Azzad in making this post-secondary education decision?

We advised him to pursue something he is interested in and passionate about.

What do you think is the strength of a polytechnic education?

Students experience practical learning and get hands-on experience. They learn to work well with different people, which gives them an idea of how to manage when they step into the working world. Taking part in daily presentations gives them confidence and trains them to think on their feet. As a result, they become independent.

Charlene Chong and her mother, Mrs Chong

Charlene recently graduated from RP. What does she do now?

Right now, she is in the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for hospitality. This is a joint programme offered by the government, RP, and the hotel where she works. She studies for one day out of her five-day work week, and works the other four days in The Regent Singapore’s all-day dining restaurant as an F&B Captain. She is building a strong foundation so she can reach her goal of working at a world-class F&B establishment. 

What was Charlene's experience at RP like? 

I can see that she enjoyed studying at RP. She learnt a lot and had experienced so much. Even though she sometimes came home from events feeling very tired, I knew that it was all worth it. Thanks to her RP lecturers who ignited her passion for service and hospitality, Charlene is now following her dream and loving what she does everyday.

How did you guide Charlene in making this post-secondary education decision?

We made sure she was informed about the different choices and possible futures in front of her. Together, we did as much research as we could, listing out the different fields of study she was interested in and how she might pursue them. We also listened to friends who had nothing but praise for RP. However, the final decision was hers. We felt letting her decide for her future was an important first step to becoming an adult.

Do you feel Charlene was well equipped when she started work?

I felt she was more than prepared. RP offered valuable internships, and her lecturers and mentor both offered her personal guidance. She is trained to handle different situations well and can adapt fast, all thanks to the hands-on, practical learning that RP provided.

Umaira Evelyn with her mother

How did you know Umaira was suited for the polytechnic route? 

I have always supported my daughter in everything that she does, but she was not sure where she wanted to go after taking her O-Levels. I encouraged her to consider RP as I knew it could provide a better career pathway and teach her much more about the working world.

What has been the impact of a polytechnic education on Umaira? 

She found an interest in programming and saw it as something she would like to do in the future. She has blossomed into a more independent and responsible individual. She does not wait to be spoon-fed answers; instead, she will find ways to discover them on her own.

What is one piece of advice you would give to parents when guiding their children in making their choices? 

I would always say: let your child choose his or her own path. At their age, they know what they enjoy doing and what they feel passionate about. Encourage them to make their own decisions and choose a course they love, and they will be far more likely to excel.

Marc Soo and his father, Mr Soo

How did you help and guide Marc in the decision-making process? 

Marc feels he learns better in a practical setting than in an academic setting. For that reason, we agreed that a polytechnic may be more suitable than junior college. We did not influence his decision about which course to take, because he already knew what he wanted to study from looking at the available courses on offer at the various polytechnics in Singapore.

What do you think is the strength of polytechnic education?

Polytechnic education provides a more practical and interactive way to learn. This matches my son’s learning style, which means he is truly enjoying his learning journey at RP. Once he graduates, he will also have the option to start working or further his studies.

How has Marc grown during his time at RP? 

Most importantly, Marc enjoys his learning journey in RP. He is also more responsible. We just tell him what is needed on his part and leave it to him to fulfil his responsibilities.

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How did you help Desmond in deciding on the course to pursue?

I went through the information that Desmond had gathered regarding various courses offered by the polytechnics and we sat down to discuss. I asked him questions to ensure that he was fully aware of the course details and what is required of him to complete the course. I asked why he was interested in the field of biomedical sciences and also what the possible career opportunities are after obtaining this diploma. I did this because we need our children to own their future and make decisions about what they want to be.

Why did Desmond choose to apply to polytechnic through the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE)?

Desmond wanted to pursue a biomedical science diploma but we were not confident he could qualify for entry. When we heard that the EAE offers students an opportunity to secure a spot in their dream course before sitting for the O-Level examination based on interest and aptitude, we thought he should give it a try.

What do you think are the benefits of applying through the EAE route?

In Desmond’s case, it gave him a chance to pursue his dream course. I could also see Desmond was motivated to do well when he asked for chemistry tuition to improve his grades and ensure he could get into the course.

What is your advice to other parents who want the best for their children, particularly before EAE?

Demonstrate interest in your child’s studies and CCA. It is not only about grades but to help them find out more about themselves, their strengths, interests and aspirations.