Debunking the Myth: Private versus Publicy-Funded Education
One of the most common stereotypical views surrounding private education is the widely held belief that it is inferior to public education. However, many people who hold such views often overlook the unique advantages offered by private education institutions (PEIs) such as PSB Academy (PSBA).
Behind the Decision: Why PSB Academy
After facing a series of challenges in their initial academic endeavours at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), both Sumitra Chowdhury and Nashrulhaq Indra decided to further their studies with PSBA. While their results may not have been the best at the ITE, they remained steadfast in pursuing their educational dreams.
Sumitra, currently a student of the Foundation Diploma in Life Sciences from PSBA, was a Chemical Processing Technology student at the ITE. However, her experience did not align with her expectations. She explained, “I struggled throughout the two years at ITE. Although I graduated with a National ITE Certificate (Nitec), I didn’t get the results that I was expecting.”
But Sumitra’s interest in science deepened after watching science-related TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor. She then decided to pursue this interest further at PSBA, after getting to know about the private education institution (PEI) from her older brother, a PSBA graduate. “The course allows me the option to take a foundation diploma course that I can complete in 12-month before progressing to Bachelor’s degree,” she said.
Nashrulhaq, another ITE graduate, had a similar story. He was an Aerospace Technology student there, and also obtained the Nitec. “Unfortunately, my results were not as favourable as I had anticipated, leading me to retake some of my modules after a few months. As time passed, my interest in Aerospace faded. While I was still trying to figure out what I really wanted to do, I went to work at ST Aerospace as an Aircraft Planner. During the Covid-19 pandemic when the purchasing behaviours of consumers shifted to the virtual world, I became interested in digital marketing. I wanted to learn how to promote businesses online.”
He discovered PSBA and went on to pursue further studies in the Diploma in Business Administration (Digital Marketing) at PSBA in 2020. He is now pursuing the Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Digital Marketing offered by Coventry University.
The PSB Academy Experience: The Valuable Lessons Gained
When asked about what they learnt at PSBA, Sumitra said, “Industry-relevant skills like how to use laboratory equipment in a proper scientific manner if I subsequently venture into the healthcare field, will be particularly helpful. I also learnt transferable skills, such as how to use computer programmes like Microsoft Excel and its various functions. This ability empowered me to analyse data, as opposed to just having a general understanding of its use. Most important of all, I learnt how to cite academic sources in project works, and this has helped me understand the importance of showing credibility in any work that is going to be presented in my further studies.”
As for Nashrulhaq, he learnt how to apply his skills and knowledge in his job as a social media specialist for a local interior design company.
“Prior to my programme at PSBA, I had thought that creating aesthetically pleasing content was the primary factor in driving engagement on social media. However, one of my Diploma modules on Consumer Behaviours, provided me with valuable insights into the diverse ways in which customers engage with products, promotional content, images, and various website layouts. These skills helped me to optimise my reach and engagements for my company’s social media.”
Private Education Institutions: Opening the Door to a Second Opportunity
Opinions on PEIs vary, with an increasing shift in mindset in acknowledging and embracing the importance of diverse pathways of education as mentioned in the recent Forward SG Report released by our government, while some may remain skeptical on the academic journey that PEIs offer. For instance, you might hear comments like” Degrees offered at PEIs are ‘toilet paper’ degrees”. But both Sumitra and Nashrulhaq have challenged this misconception of private education being inferior to the education one receives through the conventional mainstream educational routes. Sumitra said, “Comments such as ‘no future’, ‘certificate is useless’ or even ‘no job will accept you’ were something that I heard frequently when topics revolving PEIs were discussed. I used to believe in such similar claims when I was in ITE, but later realised they were unfounded. My perspective changed when my brother graduated from PSBA, a PEI, and landed a job that pays very well.”
Nashrulhaq, on the other hand, heard rumours that only one would get employed if he/she graduated from a government or publicly funded institution, but later found this notion to be baseless as well. “The determining factor is the knowledge and skills I have acquired. Some of my relatives and friends have also attended PEIs, and they have either set up their businesses or are holding managerial positions now. So, I’ve come to realise that when seeking knowledge, there are no fixed pathways.”
The most crucial success is that these two ITE students, through the private education route, finally had the opportunity and options made available to them to pursue higher learning in the disciplines of their choice. It also challenges the prevailing skepticism surrounding private education, proving that PEIs can be a pathway.
It is time to shift our mindsets on the fixed definitions and pathways of success and take charge of our personal growth by understanding the alternative options served to us on a silver platter. If you have similar views and want to explore what PEIs, such as PSBA, can do for you, you can check out our diverse array of programmes or visit our Open House on 20th January 2024, from 11am to 5pm.