Your son (a J1 student) needs a wake-up call

A concerned parent asked in a local forum whether her son (who is studying in a JC currently) should consider switching to a polytechnic as he failed all his mid-year examinations save for General Paper, and would therefore stand a higher chance of getting retained should he miss the mark for his promotional examinations. On the other hand, she is also fearful her son may not benefit much from the typically less regimented schedule in a polytechnic given his carefree and largely nonchalant attitude towards studying. Netizen Angwc, a former JC lecturer and current polytechnic lecturer, offers serious food for thought:

" I would suggest your child take the poly route IF

1) he is clear that he has an interest in applied sciences / social science courses and is willing to venture into this area for his future career;

2) he has self discipline to study on his own without frequent nudging from parents or teachers, and

3) his primary aim is to obtain a skilled based diploma.

Otherwise I would suggest he stay put in JC because a polytechnic does not enforce as much discipline compared to a JC and given your description of things I am inclined to think your son might indulge in excessive fun and games rather than actually study hard should he switch to a polytechnic course.

Also taking a specific course in a polytechnic means if he makes it to university, most likely he will remain in that course or similarly related disciplines. An 'A' level certificate is more recognized internationally and certainly provides him with more options in a tertiary institution as the subjects studied in JC are more "general" and broad-based.

Lastly if you are intending to send your son to university, JC students indisputably enjoy a higher success rate of entry compared to their polytechnic peers. Of course these days more and more polytechnic students are making it to universities but if you are talking about the local BIG 4 (NUS, NTU, SMU and SUTD), so much more vacancies are still being allocated to JC graduates. For polytechnic graduates, you must really be the in top 10% to 15% to even stand a decent chance.

In my opinion, what your son really needs is a proper wake-up call instead of he simply opting for an "easier" route due to personal lack of drive.


The Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 4 October 2014


Don't want to study in SIM, must I retake my 'A' Levels?

Local and private universities-neither here nor there

The Ugly Truth About Life As A JC Student