This is a sponsored guest post.
The Singapore education system is still undergoing major changes and it has been going on for more than half a decade. Some schools are being closed while the total number of classes and/or class sizes are decreasing. The Ministry of Education declared that this is because of the country’s falling birth rate, which affected the enrollment numbers.
In any case, if you’re an expat looking to enroll your child in Singapore, then you’re making the right choice. Singaporean schools are world-famous learning institutes providing some of the best curriculum and overall experience to students.
Here are a couple of things to ponder on before choosing an international school.
What are your choices?
Schools are deploying strict policies and are admitting fewer foreign students in the recent years. They generally give priority to children who are Singapore citizens during the admission exercise, followed by Singapore residents before foreigners. This caused many foreign students to be unable to secure local school admissions. If you can’t pay for your child to attend international schools here, you may find it difficult to settle in Singapore. You can look into this Popular Physics, Maths, Chemistry tuition center in Singapore.
It’s not advisable to seek admission in a local school at the age of 12 (primary 6) since this is the year when students get an exam or the so-called Primary School Leaving Examination, or PSLE. It is a stressful affair for students and parents since the score here is used to take the students into the different secondary schools available. The children in local schools typically prepare for it for 4 years in primary school. This can come as a big shock to your child especially if he was previously placed in a more relaxed academic environment.
Can you afford the fees?
In a nutshell, the fees charged by international schools in Singapore are indeed expensive. For instance, the Global Indian International School charges SGD $2518.00 per term for Nursery and Kindergarten students in 2017. The fees also increase to SGD $3745.00 per term for Class 12 students.
Moreover, these are just sample figures for school fees alone. You are also expected to pay a resource fee, activity fee, technology fee, building development fee plus other miscellaneous expenses every term. This can add more to the tuition fee. You may experience some issues when saving money for the future e.g. for your kid’s college fund or your own retirement.
Regardless, local school fees aren’t exactly cheap either. While the fees for Singapore citizens is highly subsidized and remains low, Singapore Permanent Residents and foreign students must pay increasing amounts of fees to attend school.
If you have a good company employing you in Singapore, check with them to see if they offer an expatriate package to assist in the coverage of enrolment costs.
What are your long-term goals?
If you’re planning to settle down here for good, or work for a chunk of years before moving out to another country, then try to get a Singapore permanent residence/citizenship since it will help your cause and shows that you’re putting in an effort to be part of the society.
Take note however that doing this will not guarantee to be able to settle down here. Immigration regulations recently tightened, and the Singapore government does not grant Singapore PR and citizenship as easily as before.
If your child is nearing secondary school, the admission for Grade 9 and 10 offered here by schools like One World International School (OWIS) is a two-year program for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). The subjects offered to students provide a broad and balanced curriculum. This provides an excellent foundation for the IB Diploma program in Grade 11 and 12.
As stated earlier, if your goal is to stay here permanently or a good couple of years, then enrolling your child in an international school that uses the curriculum back at home e.g. CBSE or ICSE will allow the child to continue with his studies in India with only a slight disruption.
We hope this gives you a quick overview of the considerations you need to ponder as you navigate through Singapore’s education system. Whatever choice you make, do it with proper planning and research and remember to keep your long-term future in mind! Best of luck!