Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Neither an A’level student, not yet a Graduate

I have been asking myself where Polytechnic graduates stand in Singapore.

Seriously we are neither here or there and in many ways, we have forgotten by many others and sometimes even we refuse to standup for ourselves. The main reason that we are so under-privileged is many of us took part-time degree courses and conveniently takes ourselves as graduates-to-be. Many just brush off woes that were once faced by they themselves. I don’t blame them because this is a pragmatic society. However the rest of us, who either do not have a degree yet or does not have plans to do so, will have to find ways to represent ourselves to be heard.

Then there are those people like to compare us with JC a’level student which baffles me. Strictly speaking, we can’t be compared. Aren’t we, Polytechnic students, termed as tertiary student (the same as University grads) therefore we are not entitled to cheaper bus concession fare? So in a way, we should be of higher hierarchy than them isn’t it? But yet, a lot of times, there are people who still considered A’Level students to be more prestige. I am not going to the JC vs Poly debate or the Elite vs Commoners of discussion here. I asked because I just don’t know where I stand anymore.

“Oh~… Poly Student …”

Week ago, we met one of the bosses during lunch time. As he was alone, my colleague asked him to join us. Trying to strike conversation and as he was not familiar with me, he asked

“So, how many years have you been with the company?”

“Almost 4 years after I graduated.”

I should have been clearer with him by adding “from Polytechnic”, but I was nervous and didn’t make myself clear but that was not on purpose.

Upon hearing this, my colleague immediately added:

“Poly Graduates, you know, seldom move around…” (Think she make eye to him…)

I know she is trying to alert the boss that I am a Poly Grad, not Uni Grad. However, from the look of the boss’ face, he looked like – “Oh ~ok ~, she is a poly grad…” Then there were brief moment of awkward silence and I was embarrassed slightly.

I can understand her wanting to let the boss know right away to prevent him from making unnecessary comments, but she could have put it across nicer and more subtlety instead hinting openly which embarrassed me. I feel that it was as though I have tried to hide my Poly Graduate status but I have no such intention at all.

Then in her own words, she claimed that she was trying to help me and the boss from embarrassment. Me thought, “Ok, so a small embarrassment is better than a big embarrassment…? As he can’t be embarrassed, so I can. ”

Who was saved?

I was still embarrassed isn’t it?


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