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How difficult is it to get a spot in local primary school?

Discuss about childcare, parenthood, playschools, educational, family & international school issues.

therat
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Postby therat » Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:04 pm

Wd40 wrote:Aren't there any private school options in between local schools and International Schools?

In India, everything is private, the government has opened up most sectors and there is so much competition that consumers always has good choice and good deals whether it is telecom providers, schools, hospitals or retail chains. Most people in the middle class can easily afford them.


Why is Singapore so restrictive in matters like these, I dont get it :???: So is Singapore really an open economy?


Singapore use to have private school that build/run by Chinese clan. All subjects teach in Chinese language.
BUT all these has been neither disband or convert to Government school.

At that time, government only give one choice. Close down the school or convert to government school.

Singapore also use have a University which build by Chinese community , Nanyang University which force to inaugurate in 1991

The government even went to the stage, don't recognize all the past graduate certification from Nanyang University.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanyang_University

Those work in government has to left their job unless they get other certification.

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aster
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Postby aster » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:54 am

anthonyh wrote:It's quite an important issue for me because if I have to put my children into International Schools, then it sets a much, much higher threshold for me to agree to relocate to Singapore. If I can get my kids into a local school, then it makes it much easier to do it. The package that I've been offered does not have any school fees assistance.

Merichan - how do you know which primary schools generally have spots available for Phase 3? Does the MOE publish this?

And I'm curious, why do you say that in the past few years, most schools have been oversubscribed? Was there a surge in baby births a few years ago?


First of all you only stand a chance of entering a child into a public school if they enter at P1 level. If your kids are older then you need to look at an int'l school, period, the end, glad you liked the show, good night and God bless.

Singapore has run out of school places. The country probably has the highest-paid minister of education in the world, who only needs to deal with what is essentially a city-state and not an huge nation, but still there is a huge problem here now with school places. The reason is certainly not child births, that is said to actually be the lowest in the world. So the only other reason left is the high level of demand from immigrants. Well, that and the fact that a lot of schools seem to have been closed over the years.

From next year there will be no Phase 3 balloting and any such exercise, MoE will for the first time handle everything centrally and allocate places as it sees fit. Scary thought this.

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aster
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Postby aster » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:57 am

Wd40 wrote:Aren't there any private school options in between local schools and International Schools?

Why is Singapore so restrictive in matters like these, I dont get it :???: So is Singapore really an open economy?


There are all sorts of options, actually in terms of schools it really is an open economy. Take your pick. They all decide on their fees and it's up to "consumers" to take it or leave it.

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Postby merichan » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 8:55 am

aster wrote:
anthonyh wrote:It's quite an important issue for me because if I have to put my children into International Schools, then it sets a much, much higher threshold for me to agree to relocate to Singapore. If I can get my kids into a local school, then it makes it much easier to do it. The package that I've been offered does not have any school fees assistance.

Merichan - how do you know which primary schools generally have spots available for Phase 3? Does the MOE publish this?

And I'm curious, why do you say that in the past few years, most schools have been oversubscribed? Was there a surge in baby births a few years ago?


First of all you only stand a chance of entering a child into a public school if they enter at P1 level. If your kids are older then you need to look at an int'l school, period, the end, glad you liked the show, good night and God bless.




@Aster I beg to differ: I got my daughter admitted directly in P3 and there are dozen of children that join each year the singaporean schools, quite often even midyear. Some even get space in what could be considered good schools.

The only restriction is that MOE doesn't want new students joining in P6 not to disturb the PSLE year for all students.

You might run in problems if child is not fluent in english, if child as mild to severe special needs, but as long as child as a DP if you seek admission in local schools it might take a few weeks to a few months to get a positive answer but you will get it in the end.


@Anthonyh kiasu parents has the history of available places. For the one available this year it will soon be online on the MOE website itself.


aster wrote:
Singapore has run out of school places. The country probably has the highest-paid minister of education in the world, who only needs to deal with what is essentially a city-state and not an huge nation, but still there is a huge problem here now with school places. The reason is certainly not child births, that is said to actually be the lowest in the world. So the only other reason left is the high level of demand from immigrants. Well, that and the fact that a lot of schools seem to have been closed over the years.

From next year there will be no Phase 3 balloting and any such exercise, MoE will for the first time handle everything centrally and allocate places as it sees fit. Scary thought this.




One more reason I'll add to the system saturation: the expected number of kids in one class keeps shrinking. In the lower primary levels the norms should now be around 30 children in class maximum.


The handling of phase 3 by MOE might be actually a really good thing in my opinion even if it freaks parents out. Over the last few years there has been case of children that couldn't find a spot before middle of January because they were rejected in the balloting, and MOE had to handle those case centrally anyway.

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Postby Roasted squid » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:24 am

There are quite a few international families in local schools (western - Australian, American, British, Asian - Japanese, Korean, China) and an active group on Facebook that shares stories about school community and expectations, talk about the enrollment process (note the FB group has spreadsheet of Phase 3 availability last year which is not available on kiasuparents as that website is geared toward locals), a basic primer of Singapore schools, etc.. I had the same concerns when moving to Singapore about the affordability of schooling and I did A LOT of research. I managed to enroll my eldest mid-year of P2 and last summer went through the enrollment process last summer for my youngest for P1. The MOE will find a place, but as others have said, it may not be close. Since citizens and PRs get admission preference, the international students tend to clump in neighborhood schools on the outskirts of Singapore - my youngest's school is 25% international. Bear this in mind when looking for housing. There is zero chance of getting a school near Orchard, but better likelihood in a neighborhood like Ang Mo Kio or Bukit Batok. Also there is ZERO chance to get into an "elite" school, unless you have millions of dollars to spare and if you are that rich you'd probably send them to International School anyway. Good luck!

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 2:10 pm

Roasted squid wrote:There are quite a few international families in local schools (western - Australian, American, British, Asian - Japanese, Korean, China) and an active group on Facebook that shares stories about school community and expectations, talk about the enrollment process (note the FB group has spreadsheet of Phase 3 availability last year which is not available on kiasuparents as that website is geared toward locals), a basic primer of Singapore schools, etc.. I had the same concerns when moving to Singapore about the affordability of schooling and I did A LOT of research. I managed to enroll my eldest mid-year of P2 and last summer went through the enrollment process last summer for my youngest for P1. The MOE will find a place, but as others have said, it may not be close. Since citizens and PRs get admission preference, the international students tend to clump in neighborhood schools on the outskirts of Singapore - my youngest's school is 25% international. Bear this in mind when looking for housing. There is zero chance of getting a school near Orchard, but better likelihood in a neighborhood like Ang Mo Kio or Bukit Batok. Also there is ZERO chance to get into an "elite" school, unless you have millions of dollars to spare and if you are that rich you'd probably send them to International School anyway. Good luck!


Care to share the link to the Facebook group?

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Postby Roasted squid » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 2:15 pm

Link here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/438205052966017/

It's called "Singapore Expats in Local Schools" if you want to search for it instead. It's a closed group, so subject to admin approval. No advertising allowed, so if you are tuition center reading this, you will NOT be approved.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:36 pm

Roasted squid wrote:Link here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/438205052966017/

It's called "Singapore Expats in Local Schools" if you want to search for it instead. It's a closed group, so subject to admin approval. No advertising allowed, so if you are tuition center reading this, you will NOT be approved.


I can assure you I'm not. :P

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Postby Roasted squid » Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:21 am

Alas, it's not you I'm worried about!! You wouldn't believe how many requests we get from people who belong to 400 groups and all you can see on their facebook pages are picture of purses. Anyway, the intention of the FB group is to have meaningful discussion and support from other expats trying to navigate a school system that they are unfamiliar with. Everyone is pretty helpful and there are pretty good discussions on the pros and cons, including a recent one regarding those who moved from International Schools to local schools and vice versa in some cases.


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