ITE’s hands-on approach reignites Aloysius Lim’s interest in learning
Dec 19, 2019
Twelve-hour work shifts may not be synonymous with a typical study routine but for Mr Aloysius Lim, he would have it no other way.
Over the years, theory-based lessons in the classroom have proven to be ineffective for the 25-year-old. It wasn’t until his experience at ITE that he finally found a learning style that resonated with him.
“I got to work on large-scale valves and pumps when I was studying for my National Institute of Technical Education Certificate (Nitec) in Chemical Process Technology at ITE College East.
The school is equipped with a built-in facility that simulates an actual refinery plant and I found learning much easier with hands-on experience,” he says.
Mr Lim went on to graduate from Nitec with a perfect GPA of 4.0 and was offered a place at a local polytechnic to pursue a Diploma in Applied Chemistry. But he found the polytechnic’s heavy focus on theoretical concepts tedious and incompatible with his learning style.
“I was having a hard time coping with my diploma course at the polytechnic. I felt left out during classes as I wasn’t able to comprehend the theories taught. It was like secondary school all over again,” he explains.
Despite his parent’s encouragement, he eventually dropped out of the course and started working.
It wasn’t until a close friend told him about the ITE Work-Study Diploma (WSDip) that he decided to give education another shot.
Back on track
Similar to Mr Lim’s Nitec experience, the ITE WSDip programme involves hands-on learning. The programme is split into 70 per cent on-the-job training at ITE’s partner companies and 30 per cent off-the-job training at ITE colleges.
The apprenticeship-based style of learning helped him thrive and offered the career advancement opportunities that he was looking for.
Today, Mr Lim is seven months into his ITE WSDip programme and learning technical skills through his placement as an apprentice refinery technician at ExxonMobil Asia Pacific. He works 12-hour shifts at the company’s refinery plant, where he learns to maintain the recovery units he is put in charge of.
“Learning chemical process technologies through a hands-on approach not only helps with my focus, but will also give me an edge when I begin my full-time job at refinery plants after graduation,” he says.