Polys to undergo major upgrade

Polys to undergo major upgrade
More classrooms, labs, recreation facilities will be built to keep up with rising enrolment.

SINGAPORE - About $1 billion will be spent on extra classrooms, laboratories and other facilities at Singapore's five polytechnics, to cope with the rising number of students going the polytechnic route.

Over the next two years, the five will also make the social side of poly life more fun, adding cafes and sports and recreation facilities.

Polytechnics are now a big draw, with enrolment rising from 24,800 in 2008 to 26,800 last year.

With the Government expanding the number of university places, and the calibre of poly students improving, more polytechnic graduates are entering local universities. More now see the poly as a viable route to university, aside from junior college.

Currently, about 43 per cent of each Primary 1 cohort go on to attend a polytechnic and the Education Ministry expects this to increase to 45 per cent by 2015.

Not just swelling numbers are driving the expansion. The polytechnics aim to provide high-quality educational experiences for their students, noted an Education Ministry spokesman, adding: "Besides creating more space, specialised facilities and equipment will be upgraded to better prepare students for the workplace."

The 59-year-old Singapore Polytechnic, the oldest, will add new learning facilities for its design school, aero-hub and sports arena, while Ngee Ann Polytechnic will build more lecture theatres and student spaces for collaborative work.

Temasek Polytechnic will add arts facilities as well as new classrooms.

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