The polytechnic-junior college conundrum has been addressed quite extensively in the Internet to advise students what institution to choose for their post -secondary education. However, the misunderstanding among students and educators alike with regards to the Early Admission Exercise (EAE) into Polytechnic and the Joint Admission Exercise (JAE) applications has given this conundrum a new lease of life. At the heart of this unfortunate misunderstanding is this question:
Can I still apply for a place in a junior college via the JAE despite already securing a course in a polytechnic via the EAE application?
When we refer to the polytechnic EAE website here, it states the following:
13. If I have accepted a Poly EAE offer but subsequently decide that I prefer taking part in JAE, what can I do?
Should you wish to withdraw your acceptance of the Poly EAE offer, you must submit your withdrawal online via the Poly EAE online portal no later than 16 October 2020. Students who have accepted a Poly EAE offer but do not withdraw by the deadline will be deemed to have confirmed their acceptance and will not be eligible to participate in the JAE and other polytechnic admissions exercises.
From the above statements, students and educators alike can be excused for thinking that students who are offered a polytechnic course via the EAE application can only participate in the JAE if they have withdraw this EAE polytechnic course by 16 October 2020. However, we need to be alert that the polytechnic EAE website can only speak on the behalf of matters pertaining to application into polytechnic and definitely not on matters pertaining to application into other education institutions.
This is evident when we refer to the JAE 2020 booklet (page 1) that reads below. Do note that the JAE 2020 Booklet is a publication from the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore that has jurisdiction over all applications into government-funded post-secondary education institutions (junior colleges, Millennia Institute, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Educations).
Eligibility to Participate
2.1 The following groups of students are eligible to participate in the JAE:
2.1.1 All Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SC/SPR) with valid GCE ‘O’ Level Examination results. However, any SC/SPR who was previously admitted to a JC, MI, Polytechnic, ITE1 should not apply for an institution in the same category through the JAE.
What does this mean?
Students cannot apply for another course in a polytechnic via the JAE if they have not withdrawal their EAE polytechnic course by 16 October 2020 but they can still apply for any courses in JC, MI and ITE via the JAE.
So students can still keep their EAE polytechnic course beyond 16 October and consider applying for a place in a junior college via the JAE should they receive a favourable results in the O Level Examinations. They do not have to rush in making this decision.