From Normal stream to PhD course

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From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby mathtuition88 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:58 pm

Quite motivating story.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/e ... phd-course

Mr Ernest Tan, 28, a PhD student, never thought he would get this far.

The former EM3 and Normal (Technical) student did not bother studying much as he had no interest in the subjects he was doing.

But it all changed in his two years at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as a student in Communications Technology.

He said: "I played a lot of computer games then so I didn't mind learning more about computers."

His interest pushed him to believe that he could continue into polytechnic, where he eventually earned a Diploma in Computer Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

... continued

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:41 am

I truly admire the grit and determination of these young people and congratulate them heartily. I just hope that this isn't taken to be the "norm" and parents will think that all NT kids can eventually get PhDs!

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby Funz » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:20 am

I doubt parents will think that. Don't even think many MS or gifted stream kids go on to get PhDs.

The takeaway though is that there is still a possibility and it does not mean NT is no good and ITE is the end of the road. It simply means the student need to find his/her niche and pace. It also tells us all not to write them off and support from the people around them can spur them on to go further.

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:25 am

Agree with you. I just wish that the ST would also feature more of those who "succeeded" by simply doing a job they find fulfilling and do well, even without higher education. So far, they tend to feature those who get a degree by the "longer route" or after working several years. It still sends the message that a degree (eventually) is "necessary".

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby Funz » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:29 am

I think they did. But positioned more as an entrepreneur piece. They feature people who had it tough when young, some could even be delinquents or ex-convicts. But the common thread is these people made it good and made it big. Living in big houses, driving big cars and now living the good life.

I would prefer to see down to earth pieces of the average joe, making it in our city with an average job, living in our average hdb and taking our average transport but still able to live life relatively comfortably with occasional indulgences.

But that will not be newsworthy I guess. Maybe there was but again it is positioned differently, maybe as the life of a person in certain occupations, instead of life of an average Joe.

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby Giggler1 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:42 am


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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby ammonite » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:43 am

slmkhoo wrote:Agree with you. I just wish that the ST would also feature more of those who "succeeded" by simply doing a job they find fulfilling and do well, even without higher education. So far, they tend to feature those who get a degree by the "longer route" or after working several years. It still sends the message that a degree (eventually) is "necessary".


The local flute-maker?

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sin ... 58274.html
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sin ... 91400.html

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby Joy of Learning 111 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:04 am

Perhaps the takeaway is that these students were not assessed holistically in their school days and were assigned to the wrong stream in the first place. When Nigel Tan, for instance, took the PSLE his family were in dire straits - no wonder he couldn't focus at that time.

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby jtoh » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:23 am

It goes to show that the conventional PSLE -> O levels -> A levels -> Degree isn't for everyone. You have to find the passion that drives you. I know of a girl who wasn't doing too well in secondary school and decided to take the poly path to pursue the course she was interested in. She is thriving there now. She intends to go to university when she graduates from poly. I know of another girl who was from NA, went on to ITE and is now in university. Her mum told me it took her a longer time but with determination she made it. Thank goodness for supportive parents who didn't push their kids to take routes that weren't suitable for them.

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Re: From Normal stream to PhD course

Postby jetsetter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:52 am

Funz wrote:I doubt parents will think that. Don't even think many MS or gifted stream kids go on to get PhDs.

The takeaway though is that there is still a possibility and it does not mean NT is no good and ITE is the end of the road. It simply means the student need to find his/her niche and pace. It also tells us all not to write them off and support from the people around them can spur them on to go further.


PhD is only for those who want to pursue a full time career in academia and research. An extra 3 years won't help one earn higher wages in many sectors.

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