Singapore Expats Forum

New to Singapore, Primary Education Enrolement Process

Discuss various schooling options for your children here.
craigandmeagan
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 19 May 2012

New to Singapore, Primary Education Enrolement Process

Postby craigandmeagan » Sat, 19 May 2012 12:24 pm

Hi All,
We have moved to Singapore from Australia and have been here since the end of March. We have really enjoyed the move so far and are settling in well. We are going thorugh the enrolement process for school, and would like to share the experince so far to hopefully enlighten other new comers to the country about the process, and hopefuly get some answers.

The cost of aninternational school is clearly aimed at foreigners who are on a full expat package (company pays for schooling).

I hope I don't upset too many people here, but who in their right mind can afford to pay $26'000 per year for a primary education? And I have two kids aged 7 and 10 so that would be double. The child is not going to come out a rocket scientest just yet!
And even if I was lucky enough not to have to pay, I personally think it would be a much better cultural experience for the child to attand a local school, especially when staying for the long term, and they can benefit from learning a second language.

Shortly after we arrived in Singapore we walked in to the ministry of education to find out what we needed to do to enrole in to a school. We did this because the website has a lot of good information about the process but unfortunately doesn't talk about midyear enrolements. So it appears that there is no such thing as a midyear enrolement, and the kids must take the test for inetrnational students (S-AEIS).

We had to provide copies of passports, EP and DPs etc, and then they would contact us back in 4 - 6 weeks. So as time goes by the kids aren't learning a lot.
We employed the service of a school search assistant. This didn't turn out to be so good. They organised times and transport to get to several schools within the area, however advised that we didn't need to take anything.
Tip 1: Always carry copies of passes and previous school reults when visiting schools. You will most likely be able to apply then and there but need copies of this stuff for the application process.
My wife went along to all of these places as I have been working. She said all the schools we went to had waiting lists and we have been added to the bottom. Most of the lists were a page long, and we have gotten no information in regards to how quickly these lists go down, and the likelyhood of our kids commencing t a school this year.

This is extremely differnt from Australia where most of the schools can accomdodtae you (unless you are looking for really reputable schools), so this is a bit frustrating for us not knowing what's going on.

So I am starting put together a readiness plan, and this is where some guidance would be appreciated.

The first thing I am thinking of is looking for a tutor for two or three days a week that can start to prepare the girls for the S-AEIS test, and start to teach Mandarin.

Or I am also trying to look at some homeschool options, until we can get in to a school. I don't want the kids missing out on too much education, however am not too fussed if they start a year level lower than what their current year would be. I believe the emphasis this country places on education will lead to far more concentrated eductaion than what they would receive back in AUS, and if we were to one day end up going back they would be able to attend the equivalent year.

I guess I'm looking for any comments on peoples experience with finding a local school here,especially after coming over close to the start of the year and missing the S-AEIS for that year.

craigandmeagan
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 19 May 2012

Update

Postby craigandmeagan » Sat, 18 Aug 2012 9:04 am

Hi All,
Sorry it has taken a while to post an update.
The ministry of education finally found us a school. And it didn't take them long either.
Apparently they tried to contact us one month after our original visit. The problem was they phoned once, put an update on our file that they tried to call and that the next time we went in we should request a certain officer. There was no follow up call and no message
Eft on our phone, and because the number was blocked we had no idea that they tried to call.
Anyway we visited them a couple of weeks later as we still had trouble finding any vacancies. Within two weeks they had contacted us and the kids started a couple of days later. They have had no troube fitting in to a local school and each have made some friends.

fishandchips
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu, 15 Dec 2011

Re: Update

Postby fishandchips » Tue, 28 Aug 2012 3:58 pm

Hi CraigandMeagan,

Thank you for sharing your experience, it was very informative. We are experiencing the same thing now. We just moved and have been here for just over a month, and have desperately tried to get in touch with the local schools, the MOE said we can apply directly for kids with the dependant's pass.

The same as yours, back in the UK going to local schools is as easy as going straight to the local council and asking for a place for your kids no matter what month of the school year. It is the opposite thing here, and a bit stressful. Also, just my hunch I think the kids here are probably a bit more smarter compared to the other countries. I think it is a very good idea to put the kids in local schools, as this is the only way they can immerse themselves with the singapore culture.

Did your kids take the AEIS exam? I think there will be one this October which I hopefully can still register the kids.

We live in the west side just near Bukit Batok area.



craigandmeagan wrote:Hi All,
Sorry it has taken a while to post an update.
The ministry of education finally found us a school. And it didn't take them long either.
Apparently they tried to contact us one month after our original visit. The problem was they phoned once, put an update on our file that they tried to call and that the next time we went in we should request a certain officer. There was no follow up call and no message
Eft on our phone, and because the number was blocked we had no idea that they tried to call.
Anyway we visited them a couple of weeks later as we still had trouble finding any vacancies. Within two weeks they had contacted us and the kids started a couple of days later. They have had no troube fitting in to a local school and each have made some friends.

ameraussie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun, 28 Oct 2012

Thanks for the info

Postby ameraussie » Fri, 02 Nov 2012 2:07 pm

Hello CraigandMeagan,

Thank you so much for this information. I realise it's been a while since you made your post, but I'm interested to learn how you've gone with your young ones in local school. We are planning a move from Australia to Singapore next year with little ones who will start P1 in 2014. We find the cost of primary school education at the International Schools is CRAZY, and would love to hear more about how it's all going for you up there. Would you mind shooting me a PM (I'm new, so I can't PM you, unfortunately) or post an update here? Curious to know how your little Aussies have fared in the Singapore schools, and how you are finding it, as parents. Thanks!!

Ameraussie

Nhunguyen
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun, 04 Nov 2012
Location: Singapore

Primary for foreign kid in 2014

Postby Nhunguyen » Sun, 04 Nov 2012 10:09 pm

Hi,

We've been here in Singapore for more than 2 years. Registered my daughter in SJII but her name is in waiting list, a long list! A bit worried after reading all the messages about how the foreign children got into local school.

I called couple schools around Toa Payoh area but they all said no chance for us, don't bother to register!

I don't like the cost of Int'l schools as I have two children. One is still in playgroup, going into nursery next year. This elder one will start primary in 2014 if she goes into local school. If we decide she goes into int'l school, we need to get her start in August 2013! Sigh...

Someone recommended to gather as many helpers as possible to go to our choiced schools on the day for Phase 3... try our luck then!

I wonder the government will seriously put my kid into a school that so far away from our home in Toa Payoh but then a note from someone just showed me the government would.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34273
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 04 Nov 2012 11:27 pm

Why should the government take a place away from a citizen in order to allow a foreign kid to go to the school? the government and the MOE's first duty is to their citizens and permanent residents. IF there is anything left the foreigners can fight for the remainder.

Millypede
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun, 30 Mar 2014
Location: Australia

Postby Millypede » Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:06 am

Hi Craigandmeagan, I found your post so helpful! We have to move to Singapore in july from Sydney and I think it would be great to put our son in a local school, but not sure if there is something I can do from here before we actually leave to help speed up the process. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! Cheers!


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Education & Enrichment Courses for Children”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest