Singapore Expats Forum

Comments on CNIS-Chinese International School

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007

Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 08 Sep 2008 4:40 pm

I agree with Forks here. I thought of the same thing when I read SMS's post. annegg and abserf are both voicing an opinion, therefore they are both biased and prejudiced. Just as delia2 and 5gypsies are stating opinion and are therefore biased as well. Opinions = Bias, correct?

I don't think it matters really who registered when, or for what purpose really, it colors how we read their posts for sure, but the onus is on us, the readers to put it into context, no? Just as they are allowed to rant or rave, we are allowed to lend credence to their statements or not.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34262
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 08 Sep 2008 10:25 pm

One would think, after my 6K+ posts here, that majority of regulars would realize this farmboys' English and grammar are not what you college/university grads would call up to snuff. I've never tried to lead anybody on otherwise. Unbiased was obviously the wrong word to use but the rest of my posts reads as if the correct word had been used. Unless one were only looking at things to pick at. Surely, with such a highly educated readership here, they could easily enough see what I am driving at...... or just cannot pass up the opportunity which is more like it. :wink:

annegg
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat, 05 Jul 2008

Re: Comments on CNIS-Chinese International School

Postby annegg » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 12:05 am

I hope it's okay if I try to clarify the intentions behind my original post.

There has been quite a bit of speculation in recent posts that I have a personal vendetta against the school. Some of the complex theories that have been postulated truly make my head ache. :???: I can assure you that as a parent of young children, I have neither the time nor the energy to engage in some vast conspiracy against CNIS.

When we were moving to Singapore, rightly or wrongly I consulted this forum to see what other parents had to say about various schools in Singapore. I found nothing posted about CNIS. (Probably because it was a new school.) With nothing else to go on, and no previous experience with International Schools, we toured the school and accepted the recruiter's words.

5gypsies makes several excellent points. Perhaps, given the promises of the recruiter and the astronomical price tag, our expectations were too high for a fledgling school. It's quite possible, given that the prices of other International Schools are equally ridiculous, we would have had an equally difficult time being satisfied with some other International School. I don't know. What I do know is that at the end of the school year, we really felt our children's needs were not being met academically or from a safety stand point. So, we made the decision to leave.

I posted my original comments simply so that other parents considering the school are aware of what our experience has been. I'm glad to see that hat other parents have taken the time to share their positive experiences as well. It will at least provide some record for perspective parents other than the school's recruiting office. :)

If the problems we experienced this year truly were "teething pains" then I stand by my original comments - the school has a great concept and might be worth considering in the future.

User avatar
Forks
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon, 04 Feb 2008
Location: in the draw
Contact:

Postby Forks » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 10:31 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Unbiased was obviously the wrong word to use but the rest of my posts reads as if the correct word had been used. Unless one were only looking at things to pick at. Surely, with such a highly educated readership here, they could easily enough see what I am driving at...... or just cannot pass up the opportunity which is more like it. :wink:


Pick? me? No! I do get your point but I think that those who have posted negative comments were not out to make the school look bad, its seems to be doing that by itself, but they were concerned individuals who felt the need to let others know about the school (which is sorta what this forum is all about). I think we are all biased one way or another on this issue.

But to add some more fuel to the fire, a Korean mother who I know who has children in CNIS told me yesterday that even on the Korean forums in Singapore they are not saying nice things about the school so Im really guessing that this school has some problems that are not getting resolved here for it to get such a range of negative comment.

As for passing up an opportunity, I think any individual with over 6K worth of posts would understand how hard it is to do that. :wink:
Poking, poking everywhere...

User avatar
Forks
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon, 04 Feb 2008
Location: in the draw
Contact:

Re: Comments on CNIS-Chinese International School

Postby Forks » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 10:35 am

annegg wrote:I hope it's okay if I try to clarify the intentions behind my original post.


No please, feel free. This will help the discussion underway, the more information the better the picture.

For the record I dont think anyone who has posted here has a personal vendetta against the school, but to try to bring out the point with SMS I used "axe grinder" to show that no one posting here is neutral, we all have an agenda of some sort but as a parent with Children in an International School I think your agenda would be similar to mine, the best education for our kids.
Poking, poking everywhere...

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34262
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 09 Sep 2008 4:46 pm

Forks & annegg, I'm am glad that this has escalated somewhat myself. annegg, with your weighing back in, at least is tends to put to rest my worries that the posts were more hit & run as you are back clarifying your statements. Your clarifications tend to take the edge off of your earlier posts. Maybe your frustrations mellowed with time? Whatever, at any rate, I've never said that there weren't any problems, but that maybe the problems were being blown out of proportion. Again, maybe not. My concern was the liable/slander aspect of it with regard to our hosts. And when people register 'just' to trash something it just feels wrong. It's a similar concern (liable) that caused us not to be able to name or link to a certain newspaper here as well. Even with moderation, occasionally something does slip by! :-|

Ruslan Zakirov
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 16 Sep 2008
Location: Singapore

Postby Ruslan Zakirov » Tue, 16 Sep 2008 4:07 pm

I am father of 2 kids studying in OFS. I am not quite happy with the level of knowledge the school provides us with and looking for bringing my kids to the Chinease Internaional School. Now, having 100% different opinions on the same school it is really confusing to make the choice between OFS & CNIS. I would like to meet the parents of the kids studying in CNIS to discuss all concerns about the school, its program & facilities and overall atmosphere. I would like to hear the opinion of a live person other than Internet protected one.

Iridium08
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu, 25 Sep 2008

CNIS Parent

Postby Iridium08 » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 12:02 am

Hi, we have children at CNIS. The experience has been mixed.

Note that in primary school, the most important feature of the school is the child's teacher. Next would be the other children in the class. Admin, etc. is far less important (within reason). A great teacher can overcome even the most egregious adminstrative incompetence. At the same time, even the most beautiful school with the greatest curriculum cannot survive horrible teachers.

So far our kids have had teachers that range from a "F" to an "A+." But from what I have seen, the bulk is B or above--not bad and some quite good. But it is a great unknown.

As for the peers of my children, this is where the worry lies. I am afraid I have to agree with the previous assertion that we are not getting the cream of the crop. They do carry themselves well, especially at the higher grades.

Finally, there is the adminstration. The soldiers are soldiers, so let's leave them out. Let's look at the leadership. Profit motive is obvious. Reinvestment has been nonexistent, save for the bizarre installation of a golf school. LOL!! Computers for IT have not yet arrived--and we are in week 7. The canteen is friendly but serves God-awful and terribly unhealthy hawker food. The website is a joke...filled with misspellings. Worst of all, there is no sense of a greater mission. CNIS lacks a soul or purpose. If Madarin were the sole objective for a school, I would spend the summers with them in Harbin, where they can learn the most standard Putong Hua.

If we run the table and luck out with great teachers, we can make the case that the children benefitted greatly from their time at CNIS. However, I don't know a single parent who is not looking into alternative options.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figrue out that the place will collapse if the expat parents leave the primary school program en masse. The school simply pales in comparison with local (more or less free) alternatives and is several notches below the top International Schools.

On the optimistic side, the school has the potential to turn things around quickly. However, unless the fog lifts from the leadership, I remain biased to the pessimistic. Let's not forget, the leadership comes from a country where choice and use of the exit option with schooling is not engrained in the culture. They are simply not used to dealing with clientele who are MBA's, MD's, PhDs, and LLBs, many of whom have risen high enough to warrant their Singapore postings.

A final comment: one needs to watch carefully what the best teachers & administrators do. Perhaps more important, one needs to watch the decisions of key parents, as no parent I know will risk their children's futures.

Iridium08

Iridium08
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Postby Iridium08 » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 1:46 pm

Whoops...

I meant to say

They do NOT carry themselves well, especially at the higher grades.

Ruslan Zakirov
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 16 Sep 2008
Location: Singapore

Postby Ruslan Zakirov » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 2:27 pm

As far as I understood the number of contras is bigger than of pros. I do not want to experiment on my kids taking the risk to have poor teachers. I am not too focused on Mandarin for my children. I am looking for a proper school to make sure that my kids are well prepared for a university. So far, in Overseas Family School, I am not too happy with the volume of educational load.

Iridium08
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Postby Iridium08 » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 2:59 pm

Cost of incurring that risk increases with age and is proportional to the extent to which you are supplementing their education, especially academics.

Uni life is well off for our children. What they are learning now (esp appreciation for good teaching, ability to learn in less than ideal circumstances, ability to differentiate good from bad features of a school) are more correlated with life at university than strcit academics--at least at their ages.

Are your kids in junior high or older? If so, I would think CNIS would not measure up whatsoever. For these grade levels you need excellence at the subject level, a cohesive curriculum, and a culture of excellence. Although I have not bothered to analyse the school at those grades, I would think they would not come close on any of the three. It is up to the school to demonstrate its ability in these areas.

Our kids are young. If anything the disarray and lack of refinements & organization has forced them to deal with adversity in a way that has actually helped their perspective on things. Yes, sounds bizarre, but that is what is going on with ours.

They are missing out on a few things but gaining exposure to few other things. One thing is for sure, if we move them to another place, they sure will demonstrate a far greater appreciation of school can offer--not a bad lesson to learn early in the game. And this point is non-trivial. Lots of spoiled expat kids and parents out there.

Iridium08
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Hmmmm

Postby Iridium08 » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 4:11 pm

Yikes, my posts read as if I am endorsing the place. I am most definitely not. However, for those parents already there, many have silver linings that make the place more than tolerable.

In general, and most certainly with CNIS, it is incredible that private schools can be so uniformly bad. I wonder if this is the case in other expat ladened countries. Captive audience and company stipends. Sort of like gettign coupons to eat at your "favourite" waterside eatery. In teh latter case, it leads to horrible food and service. Is this not the case with International Schools in Singapore?

Ruslan Zakirov
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue, 16 Sep 2008
Location: Singapore

Postby Ruslan Zakirov » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 4:35 pm

Shortly speaking, your opinion on CNIS is negative, isn't it? That's really strange that with such high educational fee you have to face such incompetence and desperation.

Iridium08
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Postby Iridium08 » Fri, 26 Sep 2008 11:11 pm

My opinion is extremely guarded.

Instead of "strange" it is par for the course with int'l schools here. CNIS is just the more glaring.

That said, it is new and there is always a learning curve.

However, all said and done, I could create a school in a weekend that could low thsi one out of the water. So very sad that there is little vision and such poor execution.

Were it not for a handful true educators the school would have already gone out of business. For their sakes, I hope they can find alternative employment before it is too late...

delia2
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon, 27 Aug 2007

Continuing to evolve & improve. Have another look at CN

Postby delia2 » Thu, 14 May 2009 3:34 pm

CNIS has a new principal with a lot of proven
ability/experience, and a new administrator
for K-6 curriculum who also has strong credentials.
I see a lot of improvement at the administrative
level and in the curriculum. If you're wondering
about CNIS, you should investigate for yourself,
not just because a few parents aren't representative
of a large group, but also because the 2007-2008
year is pretty different from the current situation
heading into the 2009-2010 year.

Maybe a distrust of recruiting officers would
be the only constant over time. :)


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Education & Enrichment Courses for Children”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests