Back in the day, admitting a child to a sixth form centre was every parent’s dream; and the goal of every student in high school.
However, it’s not the case anymore.
These days, most students, despite being over-qualified, opt for technical colleges where the minimum entry requirement is two to four O-levels.
One reason is monetary, while another is having an easier curriculum.
What I’ve noticed is that in the last seven years, there has been an upward trend among students with six to seven O-levels attending sixth form centres to pass the time until they receive their acceptance letters to technical colleges.
Some students are even willing to forgo nearly two years of pre-university education, when they are weeks away from taking their GCE A-Level exams, to leave for technical school.
I believe these technical colleges should not take on students who are currently undertaking A-level education, in order to meet their quotas. As a result of these ‘high-achievers’ entering vocational schools, applicants who only just meet the entry requirement are at a disadvantage, as they are forced to compete with those with much better O-level results.
On the other hand, there are students who are confident in scoring well in their A-level exams, yet opt for technical colleges due to the fear of rejecting an offer letter.
If a student is qualified for A-level education, he or she should pursue it. Sixth form education is a training ground for character building; if students can survive A-level education, they can survive anything.
Students at a technical college were recently interviewed by the media regarding their life goals.
Surprisingly, all had plans to continue their studies at university level upon completion.
According to Christoph Guttentag, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University in the United States, the Cambridge curriculum is a “superb preparation for university”, which is in line with our Ministry of Education’s vision of ‘Quality Education, Dynamic Nation’.
One of the many lessons learned from the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and society is that our country needs as many skilled professionals as we can produce to manage future crises.