Schooling is a hot topic for expat parents. Should you try for a spot in a local school or enrol your child in an international school in Singapore? For the pros and cons of both, read on (and don’t miss the School Guide ebook link below!).
What to know about the local system
Singapore’s local system consistently ranks among the world’s best. Schools are well funded, and test scores are consistently high in schools across the island.
These impressive test scores aren’t without controversy. Competition – and stress – can be tough, but new rules are combatting this, such as the rule abolishing exams for primary years 1 and 2. Local schools also lack some of the bells and whistles that expats come to expect, though many expat children thrive in local schools. And, the costs can more than make up for this; in 2019, permanent residents (PRs) pay $180 a month, though non-ASEAN international students will pay $700 a month.
A place in a local school is far from guaranteed. Unless the student is a PR, it can be quite hard to find a place. Spots are allocated according to a tiered system and non-citizen/non-PRs are at the back of the line. An estimated 1 in 3 will receive a spot.
What to know about the international system
Most expat parents opt for international schools for their children. Here’s why:
International schools in Singapore are renowned for their educational excellence. The curriculum programmes at many international schools are designed to provide learners with a well-rounded education and a welcoming environment for a wide mix of nationalities. The curriculum programmes include rigorous academic courses as well as opportunities for personal development. These schools strive to provide students with a place where they can grow to become the best version of themselves based on their personal strengths and passions.
International schools can provide a seamless transition from one school to the next. Expat children can quickly adapt to their new environment, which may have the same educational foundations as their school systems back home. In addition, short-term expats will be able to easily transition into another country or back in their country of origin.
Emphasis on community
Parents play a pivotal role in an international school environment. There are many opportunities to be involved in school activities and events. This helps the school develop a sense of community among expatriate families that cannot be found elsewhere.
If you’re an expatriate parent beginning to research the options in Singapore, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. There are many resources for information on education here, such as this School Guide eBook published by One World International School, which can help you during this time of transition. Click to download now.
Article written in collaboration with:
Read more in our Schools section: