Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vocational Training Collaboration Between ITE and Top Schools

Little Boy is in one of those schools people call "elite".  Even though I am extraordinarily happy with how the school is educating my son (both in values education and in academic exposure), I am keenly aware that the school (being an "elite" one) does not provide vocational training of any sort. However, Little Boy has picked up a keen interest in designing and building machines.

3D Scanner
Together with a group of like-minded classmates, he constructed a 3D scanner (from industrial scrap) and won 2nd prize at an event named Deconstruct. The project was later presented at the Mini Maker Faire Education Day. The Husband (who had to attend the same event that day for different reasons) even managed to snap a photo of Little Boy standing next to Heng Swee Keat.

Self-Cleaning Table
This year, Little Boy's school devised project homework that required the boys to errr... build something and document it. From what I understand, the instructions are really as vague as that. This gave Little Boy a great deal of freedom to be creative. So, he got some friends together and built a self-cleaning table because Little Boy was fed up with dirty hawker centre tables. He figured that such a device would have good commercial application, because Little Boy also enjoys turning a dollar profit.

As a loving and doting Mother without the usual prejudices against vocational training, I approached ITE to see if Little Boy could attend ITE classes part-time. This was their response...

If the government wants Singaporeans to take vocational training seriously, it may make sense to develop top school - ITE collaborations? Create a program that is highly prestigious (because Singaporeans are shallow in that way) and limit entrance to top students in top schools (because again... Singaporeans are shallow in that way).

Doing so will signal to everyone that ITE skills are valuable skills. At the very least, it shows that the government is walking the talk.

I do really believe they are valuable. I make it a point to learn as much as I can from carpenters, swimming pool cleaners, aircon servicemen, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. Frequently, I am envious and impressed by their tradecraft.

I also think Little Boy will benefit from such skills training as an extra-curricular activity. Socially, it will break down barriers between youths. Overall, Little Boy will receive a more holistic education and have the opportunity to follow his passion.

No comments: