Government should reform the polytechnics and ITEs

It has come to my attention that scores of Singaporeans that have entered polytechnics have been receiving inadequate support from the government. Many poly students are facing intense competition from each other due to the large amount of poly intake recently. I heard from a friend that the salary for poly grads are around $2,200 or lower and it is no longer adequate for a good living. He has faced multiple rejections from even 2nd tier firms in the CBD and he suspects it is because there is a glut of poly grads in our nation.

My friend has been complaining about the unwise policy of the government to build one poly after another, ignoring the market reality of the industry. Does our country really need so many poly grads? After all, majority of poly grads are not looking for further studies in university and will put themselves to good use by supplementing our white-collar workers in the CBD and help our nation compete globally. Are hiring numbers, for good-paying jobs increased so much to justify the aggressive opening of so many polys?

It is a stupid policy to open so many polys just to placate the people who do not wish to receive a technical education at ITEs, which are world class institutes by the way. Just because there are many secondary school students who want better opportunities for themselves, the government has grown soft and purposely increase intake of poly students, while diluting the value of poly grads! A better option should be to inculcate the right values In our youth, and ensure that those with potential for technical training do their jobs with pride, rather than a situation where everyone squeezes into CBD, depressing wages for everyone else. The purpose of examination is to stream students to assess their potential. Some people are good at studying and enter JC. Some are good at project management, communications and innovative idea generations and enter polytechnics, where they hone their management abilities before going to work. And some are better at technical and service-oriented fields, and enter ITE where they focus on hands-on learning in culinary, engineering or vocational fields.

The government should focus on improving the quality, not the quantity of polys. Instead of closing down JCs, they should close down at least 2 polys, so that the remaining 3 polys will have better reputation and will be able to command higher pay, by squeezing the market. In the meantime, the government should open more ITEs to cater to the needs of the students, as they will benefit more from an engaging curriculum, rather than being told to go poly by their kiasu parents.

Lastly, there needs to be a change in values for many youths. ITEs should not be seen as some kind of last resort, but a place for the technically-inclined to hone their skills and achieve mastery in their trades. In Japan, tradesmen are very proud of their skills, and we will be able to improve our manufacturing quality and service standards by relying the backbone of ITE-trained graduates when they enter the jobs market.


A concerned citizen




11 Responses to “Government should reform the polytechnics and ITEs”

  • HarderTruths:

    Polytechnics was once required to provide technical staff t complement and supplement engineers – much like nurses and doctors. This included number crunching and basic repetitive technical tasks that an engineer would be overqualified to do.

    With the advent of computers both engineers and technicians have been replaced – even higher level computing skills can be done by a junior engineer or draftsperson. Most of these are FT. Why pay more for a local?

    Not only are jobs affected but skills are lost. The FT doing the jobs are just monkey-see monkey-do’ types that have no real understanding what they are doing. Hence the rise in major accidents and the cover-ups to exonerate the government from the system that replaces people with monkeys.

    Do not think this is the end. There will be more and more layoffs in all disciplines – even law, banking, finance and manufacturing. Even coffee is made at baristas by machines.

    One day real monkeys will be using software and paid in peanuts. This is Asia after all. When you want bullshit $G is the home of all regional bullshitters and second to none.

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  • Barking up the wrong tree lah:

    The problem is so obvious. Just read more comments here.
    Definitely not because of too many poly grads.

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  • pea brained tan kin lian:

    no wonder lost deposit at PE2011.

    although we think 70% sheep is sheep brained, it speaks well of them in not endorsing tan kin lian since between pea brained and sheep brained, pea brained is much the worse.

    1st, let us remind all local born citizens. just like pap car lite, pap ITEs Polys are not meant for local born citizens. ITEs Polys are meant for pap ministar children. but due to pliant parleement approved ownself grab S$m pap system, pap ministars have so much S$m they just send their children to overseas Us instead of to ITEs Polys.

    2nd, even armed with faked ranked nus ntu smu degrees most local born shake at home or drive Grab. because of pap GDP growth bonus system, pap allows aliens FTs PRs armed with fake degrees to live in small island. these fake degrees are so cheap cheaper cheaperest they are hired as soon as they appear. so much so the local market cries out for more for more for more of them. of course the more armpits hired the higher the GDP statistics = the higher the GDP growth bonus. so pap aimed for 6.9m and thereafter 10.0m.

    3rd, pap builds smaller and smaller HDB rental units to accommodate the 6.9m. due to potential 10.0m aka greater demand for over priced HDB rental units, pap prices over priced HDB rental units even higher highest.

    last, and this is for local born 70% sheep. don’t short change yourselves or your children by going the pap way to ITEs Polys. these are not meant for you or your children. these are meant for pap ministars. for yourselves and your children, aim for the ivies the London Us the Oxbridge. because you are not competing with cheap cheaper cheaperest aliens FTs PRs in Singapore, you are competing with the world. STOP being stupid sheep.

    NB. tan kin lian is pea brained. don’t do what he says. do what he can’t do.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    So obvious yet so blind! The PAP govt obviously don’t see it but people who have travelled far & wide would understand this present day predicament.

    S’pore’s Manufacturing era was over two decades ago. You don’t need so many Polytechnic & ITE people in today’s economy. There’s a shift in the Global Economy towards innovation, creativity & self-reliance of individuals. In short, you need to be adaptive, not reactive!

    And I’ve been saying all this while that S’pore’s Educational Mechanism should have focused on broad based Machine coding for all things Internet, not so much concentration on academic studies & School Elitism. The World have moved on from learning the basics to learning to use technology to improve lives. Why is S’pore & the PAP govt is stuck on the old ways?

    In addition, S’pore is twenty years too late in the area of STEM. S’pore Inc involvement was in the PC era technology. Today, we’re deep into electronic devices like Smartphones & touchscreen tablets where S’pore Inc have little involvement except for some small subcontracting work.

    Technology, automation, robotics & the forthcoming revolution in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. These are all job killers which eliminates routinised work or work that can be displaced by algorithms programs or robots. Intermediary work will be replaced by online portals! Eg. Real Estate, Insurance & Banking!

    In a Global Economy wrecked with huge unpaid Bills where household debts were used to propel expensive consumption &/or unsustainable lifestyles. Future mass consumption & large scale manufacturing will be constrained in the future! Also, the World’s Demographics for the Developed Economy were ageing. There is no need for so much gadgets & widgets in the future by an ageing population. Economic growth philosophy are redundant! We need to have a new game in light of weakening Global Demand & ageing Demographics. PAP’s GDP Growth-at-all-cost philosophy are inherently bankrupt! Big Infrastructural Spending & Foreigners’ influx creates an unsustainable future with debt legacy & a weakening jobs eco-system (from lower investments & weaker consumption). What do you not get from here?

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  • Singapore Fooled Again n Again:

    Let’s say poly grads earn $2200 before CPF contribution from employers, that is $2640 a month. Let’s say the male sacrificed 2 years in NS after poly and then while employed, have another 10 odd years in disruptive reservists. Female have maternity leaves up to 4 months if gave birth. And for University grads, say they earn $3200.

    There are plenty of foreigners from 3rd world countries who are jobless or earning less than $1000 a month willing to come in on contract term for $1500 to $2000, employer save of CPF or maternity leaves issues and no contract tied up.

    And if they fight with degree holders, these foreigners willing to grab the job at $2000 to $2500, again, employer save of CPF or maternity leaves issues and no contract tied up.

    Who do yo think employers will employ?

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  • Another concerned citizen:

    To: A concerned citizen,
    If the government reduces the intake in polytechnic, your so called friend, child may not even get into the local poly.
    He is just not good enough, period, to be recruited by even the 2nd tier company, maybe not even one in Jurong, or one that pays fresh graduate $2000 a month.
    Which poly graduate does not want to work in CDB instead of industrial estate?
    Even a fresh uni graduate who is willing to accept $2200 a month pay may not get a job in CDB or elsewhere.
    The competition for job is sadly very competitive because PAP opens the door wide open for FTs or otherwise, with degree, diploma, experience or fake.

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  • Asd:

    Reform the garment first

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  • Dr. Chan:

    Here in the USofA. Handyman (Electricians, Plumbers, Auto Mechanic etc.) Make good money. Average US$5000 to US$7000 a month. Many are just Vocational Institute Certificate holders.
    Good hairdresser charge US$400 a hairdo. Landscaper charge US$3000 a project depending on size of project.
    As long as you are good with your hands, no degree also can make more than degree holder.

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  • The Ministry of Elucidation:

    Dear concerned citizen

    Where haaave you been?

    It’s not the glut of poly grads, it’s the glut of foreigners with dubious qualifications!

    Even university grads don’t get $2,200 let alone poly.

    The govt can restrict poly places. What happens? Locals complain not enough places. Even if they limit poly places but let the floodgates open wide wide to foreign invasion. The foreigners will interfere with the locals for jobs here.

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  • Dear A concerned citizen:

    Why didnt your friend apply to JC or ITE instead of Poly?
    Why didnt he want to go to Uni?
    Is he gaming the system?
    Many o level students choose to go to Poly instead of JC because it is easier for weaker students to get to the local Uni via the Poly route.
    I heard the quality of Poly students is real bad, direct from the mouth of the lecturers there.
    A Poly student who studies a bit harder, shows enthusiasm in projects who get a very high GPA, and get admitted to the local U or otherwise.
    Poly fresh graduates will complain low pay, long hours job, CBD companies dont want them, SME lousy pay. They like to work in CDB, MNC, $3000 a month pay. Who doesnt?

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  • gaining slots:

    //My friend has been complaining about the unwise policy of the government to build one poly after another, ignoring the market reality of the industry. Does our country really need so many poly grads? ?//

    aiyoh. your friend should be more concerned about open-leg policy by the white monkey idiots than the number of more higher educational institutions to educate local population lar ?

    the only problem opening one poly after another is the possibility of reduced proportion of tru-b daft sinkies gaining slots relative to the overwhelming numbers of FTs or FTs converted sinkies from the open-leg policy thanks to the white monkey idiots ?

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