Examining the Singapore Education Industry

EP Staff

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The educational system in Singapore brings to the fore awesome opportunities for its students, offering various choices in preschool, primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. Even if your children attend private schools, it is worth taking a closer look at the public educational system in Singapore.

Parents need to register their wards for about a year in advance for them to be eligible for preschool in this Southeast Asian country.

From kindergarten to junior colleges, the system provides excellent pathways for various academic levels as well as interests.

The kind of secondary school a child attends plays a significant role in their career path — those who achieve A Levels attend university, while others may study at technical institutes.

The system in Singapore supports the development of children’s strengths and social skills. All in all, Singapore’s students produce outstanding academic results and often pursue distinguished careers. Still, the government is continuously working on reforms in this sector to keep it flexible and to guarantee a high quality of education.

Singapore’s Educational System: An Overview

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Singapore offers an array of schools for all age groups and academic abilities, from primary up to college. There are various paths which lead to a university degree or a job. However, the first steps into the educational system, most cases begin with preschool. Children in Singapore attend preschool up to the age of six and advance to the primary school.

After completing six years of primary school, children move on to secondary. This system in Singapore allows students to choose a path at this juncture. They decide whether they wish to attend a traditional secondary school, an express school, or a specialized school — which  take them to “O” Level in four years rather than the regular five years —  or another school like the privately funded one, offering a similar education. Post-secondary education most times, takes between one and three years and provides a choice of schools, including junior colleges, polytechnics, and technical institutes.

Special Needs Schools

The system in Singapore is high-quality but may leave some children who have special needs in the dust. This is why some schools put a particular focus on children who seem lost in regular primary school.

A large number of schools boast of experienced teachers who can take care of children with little learning disabilities. However, 20 designated schools exist that customize their curriculum for challenged children. Thus, children who do not benefit from mainstream education receive a viable alternative.

Pros

  • Local schools are affordable than private institutions, and teachers use English as their primary language of instruction. Since education is a high priority in Singapore, expats have the opportunity to attend some of the best-ranking schools located in Southeast Asia.
  • The system is managed by the MOE (Ministry of Education); the first ten years of schooling are divided into six years of primary education – which starts at age seven onwards – and four (or five) years of secondary school.

Cons

  • Local students in public schools are highly competitive, and coupled with the already high-stress level associated with the sector, students experience an increase in anxiety.
  •  Expat children can feel they’re in a “lost world”–where corporal punishment is legalized.
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