SINGAPORE – The Singapore School of Science and Technology (SST) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) will be launching a pilot Integrated Diploma Programme (IDP).
It is for students who are strong academically and display an aptitude in applied Science, technology, engineering, as well as mathematics (Stem). They must also want to pursue a polytechnic education.
Under the programme, students from SST will progress directly to a Stem course in NP without having to sit the O levels.
The IDP was announced by Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (Nov 17) at SST’s 10th anniversary celebrations, which was held virtually.
SST is a specialised independent school that offers a four-year secondary O-level programme, with a focus on applied learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, aesthetics and mathematics.
The applied learning approach is to connect theoretical concepts to real life applications.
There are three other specialised independent schools in Singapore – the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, School of the Arts and Singapore Sports School.
Mr Wong, in a speech on Tuesday, said the IDP would allow students to “have more time and space freed up to engage in deeper applied learning, across a wider range of Stem fields”.
“This will include the opportunity to embark on longer-term capstone projects, where they can draw insights from different disciplines to tackle interesting challenges,” he added.
Details of the pilot programme are being worked out by the Education Ministry, SST and NP.
For a start, the IDP will involve about 50 SST students in each cohort and they will be selected at the end of Secondary 2.
Mr Wong on Tuesday praised SST for its role and achievements in applied Stem learning, noting that it started out with two goals.
He said: “The first was to develop a strong and early pipeline of Stem talents who can help Singapore cement our position as a competitive force in the world economy.
“The second was to nurture future-makers who can contribute to society by turning their passion for applied technologies into reality.”
As it marks 10 years, the school is on the cusp of its next phase of growth – and in a post-Covid world, the future is bound to be more disruptive, complex, and uncertain, Mr Wong added.
“We must do more to help our youth adapt and thrive in this new environment.
“This would require new, innovative methods of learning so as to develop individuals with not just deep Stem expertise, but also other important qualities – adaptability and resilience, the disposition to keep on learning, and the ability to initiate positive change in society,” said the minister.
The Singapore Sports School also offers a through-train pathway for selected student-athletes.
They can bypass the national examinations and progress to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, the customised Republic Polytechnic-Singapore Sports School Diploma in Business, or the customised Ngee Ann Polytechnic-Singapore Sports School Diploma in Business Studies.