SINGAPORE: Students seeking early admission to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) for entry in 2021 will be able to do so from next Wednesday (May 27).
The Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) for all five polytechnics will also proceed in June, despite the COVID-19 situation.
Due to social distancing measures, EAE selections will largely be conducted via electronic means, the Education Ministry (MOE) said in a press release on Monday. These include online interviews and portfolio submissions over email.
However, "on-campus selection will still need to proceed for some courses, where the selection process cannot be meaningfully replicated in a remote manner," MOE said.
Examples of such courses include ITE’s Nitec in Nursing and Higher Nitec in Performance Production, as well as Nanyang Polytechnic’s Diploma in Oral Health Therapy, for which an in-person dexterity test will be conducted for shortlisted candidates.
“In all instances where applicants need to come onto campus, the polytechnics and ITE will ensure that appropriate safe management measures are put in place,” MOE said.
Such measures will include staggering assessment slots and designating waiting areas to avoid inter-mingling of applicants. The total number of applicants expected to go to campus for EAE selection is “low.”
"The EAE is an important admissions route that takes into account students' demonstrated aptitudes and interests, beyond academic grades," the ministry said, explaining its decision not to delay the EAE.
"Institutions will make appropriate adjustments to their assessment rubrics and criteria, to account for the changes to the selection format this year.
"They will also continue to document the EAE selection process, including recording interviews where appropriate, and the evaluations made by the selection panels."
Institutions will also continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and facilitate on-campus selection for more courses if the situation allows, MOE added.
MOE last week announced similar adjustments to the Direct School Admission exercise for secondary school and junior college applicants, which has moved entirely online.
Students from disadvantaged backgrounds who experience difficulties with the EAE’s online selection process will receive support from ITE and the polytechnics.
"Students who require additional support with the online process can also approach their schools for assistance,” MOE said.
"For example, the online interviews and assessments may be conducted in school instead of at home, with IT equipment loaned from the school. School staff will also be present to provide technical support where necessary.”
Students seeking early admission to ITE may do so through an online portal from May 27 to Jun 3. For polytechnics, applications for final-year ITE students and O-Level students can be made online from Jun 11 to Jun 17, and Jun 25 to Jul 1 respectively.
Under the EAE, successful student applicants are given conditional offers before receiving their final examination results.
Working adults who wish to apply to polytechnics can do so online from Jun 8 to Jul 5. They will be assessed based on employment records and employers’ recommendations, in addition to past academic grades.