ITE to make intern scheme a must

ITE to make intern scheme a must
ITE student Danna Kristina M. Yap, an intern at Universal Studios Singapore with Dr Yek Tiew Ming, principal of ITE College West; ITE chairman Bob Tan; Mr Ting Kok Guan, divisional director of ITE's industry-based training; and ITE chief executive Bruce Poh.

In three to five years' time, all full-time courses at the Institute of Technical Education will include an internship component to strengthen applied learning.

Currently, it is compulsory in only about half of its full-time Nitec and Higher Nitec courses, with the internship lasting from three to six months.

The ITE also plans to revamp many of its internship programmes to make them more structured and closely tied to the course curriculum.

Its chairman, Mr Bob Tan, announced these changes Friday even as a government review committee is looking at how studies at the ITE and polytechnics can better connect classroom lessons to the working world.

The newly formed committee is led by Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah and is expected to complete its review by next year.

When asked if the ITE revamp is in line with Ms Indranee's review, ITE chief executive Bruce Poh said he did not want to "pre-empt what the committee will recommend" but outlined the broad direction the institute will be taking.

He said: "We have to restructure the whole of the Nitec and Higher Nitec programmes so that courses without internships will offer internships, and during the internship period, the programme is more structured and students are doing applied learning."

Currently, internships tend to be more loosely managed, and interns perform tasks more on an ad-hoc basis, he added.

With the revamp, internships will have learning outcomes similar to the student's course curriculum.

"Instead of doing (the learning) in ITE, it is conducted in the company, with the same kind of rigour needed to fulfil a Nitec or Higher Nitec requirement," Mr Poh said.

The revamped internship programme, he added, calls for the companies and the ITE to work more closely.

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