Option 1. Apply to a Polytechnic via DPP
According to the Ministry of Education, N’level students can go for the Direct-Entry-Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP). This is one of the two Normal (Academic) through-train pathways that were launched in 2013. It enables Secondary 4 N(A) students who are interested to go to Polytechnic but may not be meeting their academic targets as yet, to be admitted directly into a 2-year Higher Nitec programme at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) without having to sit for the O-Level examinations or undergo a Nitec programme.
Students would then need to complete the course with the minimum required Grade Point Average (GPA, typically around 2.5 to qualify for Polytechnic Admission) so that they can be guaranteed a place in a polytechnic diploma course which in turn will be mapped to their Higher Nitec course.
Who can apply ?
Secondary 4 N(A) students who have taken the most recent N-Level examinations as a school candidate. The DPP application starts right after receiving the N’levels results and will go on for around a week or so. Students can find out more by clicking this link. The posting results will typically be released after Christmas.
How do I know if I can go for DDP?
According to MOE, Secondary 4 Normal (Academic) students who scored an aggregate of not more than 19 points in English language, mathematics and the best three subjects, and at least a Grade 5 for all subjects used in the computation of this five-subject score, can apply for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP). Students can also enter the PFP (Poly foundation Programme) which is a year long foundation programme conducted at polytechnics which serve to prepare students for entry to diploma courses. Students need to pass all the modules in the PFP programme to move on to a diploma course in polytechnic.
Option 2: Continue to Secondary 5
Why should your child continue to promote to Sec 5? In 2021, over 79.2 per cent of the close to 9500 candidates were able to move on to Sec 5. Students who wish to go to Junior Colleges or Millennia Institute(three year Pre University course) will typically choose this route.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to Secondary 5?
Advantages of going Sec 5
- Students will still stand a chance to continue their aspirations of going to a Junior College or taking the A’Levels.
- Secondary 5 helps to buy time. It is the most direct route for students to pursue when they are still uncertain of their career options. Entering a polytechnic when you are not certain of what course you want can potentially result in three years of ‘hell and misery’, although for some, having a new social circle may mitigate this.
With the release of O-levels results, happening on 10 January 2022, more N’levels students and their O’levels counterparts will be facing this beckoning conundrum. Whether it’s polytechnic or to continue with Secondary 5, students are well advised to attend virtual open houses and go for career fairs in order to obtain an inkling of their career directions.