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LOCAL SCHOOLS AND EXPAT KIDS

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egenteka
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LOCAL SCHOOLS AND EXPAT KIDS

Post by egenteka » Mon, 21 Nov 2005 9:25 am

Hi everyone

My family and I are moving there in the near future. I have been checking this forum quite regularly, trying to get an understanding of what is going on there; the locals, the expats, the politics, the attitudes...

Recently, I came upon a multi-paged topic regarding the way foreigners are being treated. It was not very encouraging.
I am moving from Canada (I have lived here for 9 years) and while here, I hung out mostly with Oriental people, particularly Chinese and Thai. I work in the science field, which means that we have a lot of Oriental nationalities studying here. I got along with them famously and even made lasting friendships with some of them.

My concern is this. I can stand being made fun of and so can my husband. However, I do not want our daughter being exposed to this, at least not for a long time. She will be going to a Singaporean school, not a private school. Apparently, there are other foreign children there too. She is 12 years old. Can anyone please tell me if my concerns are valid at all, or am I just being paranoid? Any of the other expats there with kids in local schools, how do your kids like it (or dislike it)? Any comment would be helpful.

Please note, I do not want to open Pandora's box here and turn this into a useless racial debate. Just the facts please.
E

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Vaucluse
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Post by Vaucluse » Mon, 21 Nov 2005 9:55 am

It might help if you don't call Asians 'Orientals' - do you refer to others as Occidentals? Just a point of order for your benefit.


We use local schools - no problems at all regarding discrimination etc . . . if anything they were regarded as a bit of an oddity - but that faded after a while.
What they did find difficult at the beginning is the standard, especially maths - but they caught up there as well.

We have had zero problems - both girls, by the way (8 and 15)
......................................................

'nuff said Image

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k1w1
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Post by k1w1 » Mon, 21 Nov 2005 11:14 am

I think your concerns are valid, but they would be valid even in International Schools.

What I would be more concerned about is how your child will assimilate into the school system. I assume she has been attending public school in Canada? At twelve, it might be a real shock for her to find herself in a SG school...

There are definately expat kids in local schools here, but they tend to start in the system a bit earlier than 12. This is not to say it is not possible, and you are right to research this now. Fore-warne is fore-armed and all that...

Are you aware that there are high schools here that are semi-private? They are generally government-aided and have higher fees than government run schools, but this is still nothing close to the huge sums being charged by International Schools. They have a reputation (read: I am telling you this second-hand) for being a little more open-minded and a little less standardised. Your first step will be to go to the Ministry of Education website and look for the school directory. You can check the schools websites and info there.

As an aside, if finances are a concern and a reason for you to be looking at the local schools, some of the international schools here do offer a partial grant/scholarship to students whose parents are on low incomes. I am unsure how much this is and the criteria for it (generally at their discretion anyway), but this might be worth you looking at - I know for a fact that the Canadian International School offers this. I probably shouldn't post this kind of info on the internet - it's obviously not something they like to advertise. But, ah, we can make exceptions :wink:

egenteka
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Post by egenteka » Thu, 24 Nov 2005 2:43 am

Hi there

Thank you for your replies. My thanks to the moderator, who pointed out the oriental bit comment. I had no idea but now I do and will keep it in mind.
K1W1, yes the reason is financial among others. I was always against private schooling. You are right, however, I have been wondering how my daughter will assimilate. She is a math and science whiz but does not like anything else. Of course, it could be that the level of math and science over there is much higher than here, in which case she might be in trouble. She is way ahead here in these fields but I do know that there they are way ahead too.
When I come down there I will check out the Canadian school and make my decision then
Again, thank you both for your comments
E

earthfriendly
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Post by earthfriendly » Thu, 24 Nov 2005 6:10 pm

Vaucluse wrote:It might help if you don't call Asians 'Orientals' - do you refer to others as Occidentals? Just a point of order for your benefit.

The term "Orientals" hardly used in the west, does it have a derogatory meaning? It is very acceptable here in SG as it is used to denote East Asians, as opposed to South and Central Asians. No negative connotation associated with it. In fact, there was a departmental store chain with the name "Oriental" but I believe they went out of business.

In all my years of education here in SG, I have seen about 2 westerners in each school I attended. They were treated like every one else by the teachers and students. However, people may be curious and stare a little as some here still regard "westerners" as exotic and love to check out the color of her eyes or hair, as Asians are monochromatic.

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Pinky
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Post by Pinky » Sat, 26 Nov 2005 7:04 pm

Yup, the major concern (if you can call it that) would be with the stares, but after a while, kids will get along. Other than that, the treatment from teachers / school mates remains the same. This is coming from someone who was the only "Caucasian" kid in local SG schools.

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