Singapore Expats Forum
 

Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Relocating, travelling or planning to make Singapore home? Discuss the criterias, passes or visa that is required.
Pinkpanther
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by Pinkpanther » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 4:14 pm

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:27 pm
Phase 3 in P1 registration represents the least desired spots in local schools, after everyone else has had their pick. Despite that, there still aren’t nearly enough “unwanted spots” left over for non-SC, non-PR population here who are tax paying residents of Singapore (some people still seem to think foreign students are mostly non-residents who’s family don’t pay taxes here, those days are practically gone). Note that many who apply in phase 3 are not given a spot, or are given a spot at a school across town - not even a spot at the least desired neighborhood school! Is it any wonder that many give up and just go international?

It was not always this way, it was around the mid-2000’s that supply of spots was reduced below the level of demand, and around that same time, differentiated school fees started to kick in... something of a ERP system to discourage foreigners in the local school system.

While this is all good intentioned policy that further differentiates the perceived value of SC and PR, the consequence is that the vibrancy of local kids mixing with international kids is almost completely lost... and this is something that many local parents expressed a desire for (it used to be a big draw for Tanjong Katong as an example). This creates a more insular environment for school kids here, and without such exposure they are likely to be less globally minded, less open to the world outside and possibly less prepared to take on future leadership positions in global companies here.
1. All primary schools are the same - same curriculum, teachers undergo the same training, principals are rotated. Love, love, love our school. Can change as PR, will not. Sought after schools are nothing but elite schools around expensive property (lower percentage from low income families). High pressure, because parents can afford coaching and seem to be permanently engaged in some kind of race. Plenty of measures taken by MOE to discourage this.

2. Didn't say all non-PR foreigners are given a place in local school. Only a fraction get seats (but, along with PRs, enough for the diversity angle). I did say that many won't even consider local school. This feeling is so strong that they won't even bother applying. A large percentage of PRs with guaranteed seats will still choose International Schools if they can afford it.

3. Regarding vibrancy (a mix of local and international students), which country are you from? Did the ministry of education think it needed foreigners in school for vibrancy? Is that one of the principles underlining primary or secondary school education anywhere in the world? Has that affected employment in global companies? The "global outlook" bit sounds suspiciously like International School marketing fluff. Let's admit it - most expats have no desire to imbibe Singaporean culture, values and way of life; they'd rather have a little expat circle (where their kids can fit in culturally) or at least some kind of comfortable cultural mix. Typical expat attitude. I am a local school parent and I am yet to meet a local (local by descent, not an expat who is now a citizen) who has said they want more foreigners in school. Singapore's own population is quite diverse, by the way.
Last edited by Pinkpanther on Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
malcontent
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 7:54 pm

Pink, I don’t have any strong disagreements with what you are saying. There is always some truth in any generalization, but there are often plenty of exceptions too.

My daughter went P1-P6 at St. Margaret’s, and her cousins did the same at ACS... there are clear differences, not in the curriculum or teacher training, but in the teacher quality, school culture and resources - especially materials, ACS had much more, and they had a much better support system. One of her other cousins just finished P6 at a neighborhood school. Just comparing all of their PSLE scores, her two cousins at ACS did better than her, and her cousin at the neighborhood school did worse than her. These scores just happen to mirror exactly with how much demand there is for spots at these schools. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. My daughter now attends an SAP secondary school and is one of maybe two students in the whole school who are not 100% ethnic Chinese, not great for diversity.

On the other hand, my son attends Singapore American School... now that really is night and day different! Of course the facilities and resources are amazing, but in general it is more quality than quantity, more thinking and less memorizing. I would say that the main benefit above everything else is the native level of English learning which is drastically different than the local system. And regarding vibrancy & diversity, you’d just have to experience what the school is like to fully appreciate it.

the observer
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 11:57 am

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by the observer » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 9:36 pm

I disagree that all primary schools are the same.

The syllabus may be the same, but you can check that historical PSLE scores of some schools have consistently been higher than others, ie neighborhood schools.

If I have to choose the reason between either better teachers or better students, its the former.

Let’s face it, there’s no academic criteria to enrol into primary schools, it’s either distance or affliation. So every school starts out with a similar bunch of greenhorns to mould however they like.

Points to ponder. If every primary school is the same, where do the ministers send theirs to.

Pinkpanther
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by Pinkpanther » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 10:20 pm

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 7:54 pm
Pink, I don’t have any strong disagreements with what you are saying. There is always some truth in any generalization, but there are often plenty of exceptions too.

My daughter went P1-P6 at St. Margaret’s, and her cousins did the same at ACS... there are clear differences, not in the curriculum or teacher training, but in the teacher quality, school culture and resources - especially materials, ACS had much more, and they had a much better support system. One of her other cousins just finished P6 at a neighborhood school. Just comparing all of their PSLE scores, her two cousins at ACS did better than her, and her cousin at the neighborhood school did worse than her. These scores just happen to mirror exactly with how much demand there is for spots at these schools. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. My daughter now attends an SAP secondary school and is one of maybe two students in the whole school who are not 100% ethnic Chinese, not great for diversity.

On the other hand, my son attends Singapore American School... now that really is night and day different! Of course the facilities and resources are amazing, but in general it is more quality than quantity, more thinking and less memorizing. I would say that the main benefit above everything else is the native level of English learning which is drastically different than the local system. And regarding vibrancy & diversity, you’d just have to experience what the school is like to fully appreciate it.
You're the quintessential expat I've been referring to - my favourite people. Now here's my dilemma: should I believe you or global education leader boards? Malcontent or PISA, if you know what I mean? As far as I'm aware, Singapore Maths is used in schools the world over. Yep, must be rote learning they're all picking up from Singapore.

I'd love some feedback on SAS. Does your boy read from an actual textbook or just screens? No textbooks from Grade 3 onwards, I believe? Maybe the five swimming pools make up for it? Did he get to wear that crown on his birthday while you clapped, cake in hand? Certainly not a good idea for a kid to step out of an elite little bubble and experience the real world, you know the one that has people across socio-economic classes? Kids of different nationalities whose parents can afford SAS fees are a good alternative, I guess. Is that how they define "diversity" these days? I'm terribly sorry for your daughter who landed up in an SAP school (but congratulations on her PSLE score). Aren't those schools for kids who excel in Mandarin? I quite understand why you would expect to see Malays, Indians and expats in an SAP school. By the way, in case it hasn't struck you, native proficiency in English shouldn't be the marker of a good education.

Regarding PSLE averages in so-called elite schools, sure, they tend to be higher than those in neighbourhood schools. I put that down to kiasu parents and tuition. By the way, lots of top PSLE scorers from neighbourhood schools too. Psst, in case you want to know where SAS kids go for Maths tuition (oops, Math tuition), it's that little coaching centre tucked away in Tanglin Shopping Centre...
Last edited by Pinkpanther on Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:22 am, edited 12 times in total.

User avatar
malcontent
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 10:57 pm

Pink, you seem to have a chip on your shoulder and don’t like to hear any opinions unless they match your own (sounds like a certain section of the electorate back in my home country).

Me, the quintessential expat? Me, living in an expat bubble? Me, delusional about school? Me, high and mighty?

If any of my local friends could hear those accusations about me, they would literally fall on the floor laughing. They come to me for advice on local schools, local food, local everything - because in many cases, I’ve been living in Singapore longer than they have! Heck, I’ve now lived longer in SG than I have in any other country, including my home country!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 37661
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 1
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 11:00 pm

Both of mine went through the local system from Kindergarten through O levels. One in what was a top rated school back in the day (1980's- CHIJ-Toa Payoh) and the other in neighbourhood schools. Parry Road Primary and Montfort Secondary. I actually had to go to the Parry Road school on numerous occasions to correct the 'teachers' (I used the term VERY loosely). Especially their English and in their school work papers where the English was atrocious and the grammar even worse. Yes, maths and sciences have always been Singapore's forte in the first 10 years of school. I won't begrudge them that. It's one of the reasons I put both of mine through the local system. Sadly no real choice as to the schools as we moved from Novena area to ulu Seletar Camp so no real choice with the second child. The big plus however was my knowing the fact that at that point in time, both kids had dual citizenship and had an option (if I could have afforded it). However, at the time we were seriously thinking of moving back to the US after they finished school and the fact that I took the opportunity to take the fight to the MOE, I managed to get my children in the Chinese second language stream (my wife isn't chinese but tamil). The tried to get them to take Tamil as a 2nd language but I went to war and beat 'em with their on rule book. You see, my children (or my eldest that is -5 years separating the two) was one of the first American Caucasians to try to enroll in the local system. As the father's race back then, determined the child's race (caucasian - even though they were more kopi-susu) that determined the mother tongue - in our case English. They never had anybody register as taking English as the mother tongue - it's only the language of Government here. But my race determined the fact that they were taking English Mother tongue at 1st language level, which according to their rules, allowed any child who was taking mother tongue as 1st language had their choice of 2nd language.

Why Mandarin? If we went back to the US, Tamil or Malay would be a worthless waste of 12 years of language lessons. Mandarin? If we stayed here OR went back, the kids would have a huge benefit if they decided to venture via job opportunities. It was too good to pass up. Both of my kids, if they have thanked me once, they've thanked me 1000 x over the years. My daughter even helped some PRCs who were have immigration problems at the airport in Angola acting as an interpreter between the Angolan Officer and three PRC engineers. (She spent 3.5 years as the onsite HR functionary for a large Norwegian offshore drilling company and was based in Angola). My son, whose Indie Rock band (in addition to his trade) was sent on a 10 city tour that lasted a month all over China by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. He fronted the band - and his ability to rap in Mandarin with the local crowds went over huge - in fact they were invited back by the Beijing government the following year for the Beijing Rock Festival). His band also won Baybeats here their 2nd year of existence.

The school system has changed immensely since the 80's & 90s. Not near as much rote learning today and the old blinkered system of narrow vision of what is taught is, thankfully a thing of the past as well...

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 37661
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 1
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 11:05 pm

Malcontent, I passed the half-way mark about 1.5 years ago. I was at the tail end of 35 when I came here in June 1983. I've now been here 38+ years. I hear you loud and clear.

Pinkpanther
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by Pinkpanther » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 11:08 pm

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 10:57 pm
Pink, you seem to have a chip on your shoulder and don’t like to hear any opinions unless they match your own (sounds like a certain section of the electorate back in my home country).

Me, the quintessential expat? Me, living in an expat bubble? Me, delusional about school? Me, high and mighty?

If any of my local friends could hear those accusations about me, they would literally fall on the floor laughing. They come to me for advice on local schools, local food, local everything - because in many cases, I’ve been living in Singapore longer than they have! Heck, I’ve now lived longer in SG than I have in any other country, including my home country!
I'm terribly sorry I offended you. You should read my revised comment now.

User avatar
malcontent
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 11:43 pm

Hey Pink, no hard feelings, really. I’m not easily offended... trust me on that.

I do acknowledge what you are saying, no denying that Singapore schools have many admirable and world renown strengths (by leaps and bounds compared to public schools in my home country). We wanted to send my son through the local system as well, but he just wasn’t cut out for it like my daughter is - she took to it like a fish to water. For my son, it would have been oil and water! We have no regrets sending him to SAS even though it costs a few arms and legs! They don’t have textbooks per se, but the kids at the school are big book readers, most of them carry around thick reading books, including my son. They really emphasize that and they all have to read a minimum 30 minutes each day. Just wish I could get my daughter to do the same.

User avatar
malcontent
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: Citizenship Application Rejection Letter

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Dec 2020 11:57 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 11:05 pm
Malcontent, I passed the half-way mark about 1.5 years ago. I was at the tail end of 35 when I came here in June 1983. I've now been here 38+ years. I hear you loud and clear.
SMS didn’t I see you in the Guinness book or something? :lol:

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “PR, Citizenship, Passes & Visas for Foreigners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests