Press Releases

August 16, 2011

Enhancing Access to Continuing Education and Training for Adult Learners

To better meet the upgrading needs of professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs ), the Ministry of Education (MOE) will make Continuing Education and Training (CET) more accessible to adult learners.

MOE made enhancements this year to raise the level of subsidies for Singaporean adults who pursue their first degree or diploma on a part-time basis at our polytechnics, universities and SIM University (UniSIM). MOE will also increase training capacity at our polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), as well as introduce revised CET programmes that are customised to the needs of adult learners. We hope these will encourage more Singaporeans to consider CET as a viable route to upgrade their skills and knowledge, for lifelong employability.

Expansion of CET Capacity

Today, more than 12,400 locals are enrolled in part-time degree programmes in NUS, NTU and UniSIM. In February 2011, MOE announced plans to expand the number of CET training places in part-time polytechnic Diploma, Advanced Diploma (AD) and Specialist Diploma (SD) programmes at the polytechnics by 60 per cent – from 6,400 to 10,100 places – by 2015. Since then, the polytechnics have increased the number of training places for PMETs to over 7,000 at the end of Academic Year 2010/2011. MOE will continue to grow CET training capacity at our polytechnics.

Compact Modular Part-time Diploma Programmes

To cater to the needs of working adults, the polytechnics have revised their part-time Diploma programmes to be more compact and modular. Course durations for the revised part-time Diploma programmes have been halved, from five years (1,800 hours) to approximately two and a half years (900 hours) without compromising rigour or quality. Compacting the course duration is possible by recognising the work experience of adult learners and focusing the curriculum on work-relevant knowledge and skills. Content more relevant to school leavers has been omitted.

With the revised framework, most part-time polytechnic Diploma programmes will now be offered as five distinct modular certificates (MCs) of about 180 training hours each. Each MC is aimed at providing learners with skills in core industry domains, which employers would value. The structure will allow an adult learner to customise the pace of his or her own learning. The learner will be awarded a part-time polytechnic Diploma qualification upon accumulation of the relevant five MC s within a five-year validity period.

Recognition of Alternative Qualifications

To take into account the more diverse academic and working experiences of adult learners, selected Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) and Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WPLN) qualifications can be used for admission into part-time Diploma programmes1. This will facilitate better linkages between part-time polytechnic diploma programmes and WSQ qualifications, and expand upgrading options for PMETs.

Revised Part-time Diploma Programmes

Ngee Ann Polytechnic will be re-launching its three part-time Diploma programmes under the new framework, in October 2011: These are:

  • Diploma in Business Practice (Logistics Management)
  • Diploma in Engineering (Electrical)
  • Diploma in Engineering (Mechanical)

Other existing part-time polytechnic Diploma programmes will be re-aligned to the revised structure over time.

  1. Developed by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the WPLN is a series of eight proficiency levels showing a continuum of skills in English and numeracy proficiency, tailored to meet the needs of workers for a basic education in English and Math.