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Education, Singapore

Career lessons a must for pupils

The Straits Times | Amelia Teng | Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014

SINGAPORE - Career lessons have been made compulsory in secondary schools this year, with time carved out of students' timetables for them to learn things like interview skills.

While schools have always been arranging career-related activities such as workplace visits or talks by professionals, these were usually outside class time.

The new job-related lessons are part of a character and citizenship curriculum introduced this year. Under this, students use an online portal created by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to do things such as set goals and monitor their academic results.

The portal, which is for pupils as young as Primary 5 onwards, also maps out courses for students' further education and their entry requirements.

Students also learn to track their involvement in their studies, co-curricular activities, as well as projects and work experience. This helps them see how these will contribute towards future plans, such as pursuing a degree or applying for a scholarship.

They also pick up tips on writing resumes, cover letters and interview skills.

An MOE spokesman said this education and career guidance curriculum, which is carried out over four hours per year, aims to equip students with the knowledge to make key decisions after school.

In secondary schools, it is about helping students chart their academic and job pathways, while for younger ones in primary schools, it is exposing them to their interests, abilities and aspirations.

At schools like Yishun Secondary, students also get to try their hand at skills like graphic design, baking and entrepreneurship through elective modules.

Based on students' feedback, the school will offer new courses, including those in F1 engineering and fitness training this year.

At the end of the classes, students take on roles such as chefs, waiters or fashion designers to show what they have learnt.

This article was published on April 28 in The Straits Times.

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